Millions of women have volunteered to serve this great nation, and countless have been recognized for their accomplishments and bravery. Here are just a few of the badass women you should definitely know about.
Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester’s unit was conducting route clearance near Baghdad when her unit came under fire. She maneuvered to an advantageous position, then led an assault that led directly to the death of nearly 30 enemy combatants, and capture of several others. She was credited with exposing herself to enemy fire to kill at least three enemy combatants at close range. She would be awarded the Silver Star for her bravery and resolve.
During the same engagement, Specialist Ashley Pullen’s heroism would be recognized with her being awarded the Bronze Star with Valor distinguishing device. During the ambush, she maneuvered her vehicle so the turret gunner could effectively engage the enemy. Then she ran through withering enemy fire to reach a group of wounded Soldiers that were 300ft away. She provided first aid to several Soldiers, and shielded one with her body, protecting him from a blast. Pullen then helped coordinate transport of wounded soldiers to a hasty landing zone for evacuation. She was credited with saving multiple lives.
Colonel Kim “Killer Chick” Campbell, had spent the day laying mass amounts of hate and discontent in support of ground units outside of Baghdad, when her A-10 Warthog was struck by enemy fire. Realizing her hydraulics systems were impaired, Campbell had to use manual reversion, essentially a system of cranks and cables, to make the arduous flight back to base. Despite having hundreds of holes in the stabilizer, fuselage and tail section, Campbell safely landed the badly damaged plane. The next day she was back in the sky conducting combat operations.
Colonel Ruby Bradley was serving as a surgery nurse in the Philippines when she was taken prisoner just 3 weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor. During the 37 months Bradley spent in captivity, she assisted in 230 major operations and the delivery of 13 babies. When the camp was liberated, Bradley weighed only 84lbs. She would go on to also serve in the Korean War, earning 34 awards during her 30 year career, including two Legion of Merit medals, and two Bronze Stars.
Lt. Colonel Lisa Jaster already had an impressive career by the time she was 36. She had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, earning a combat action badge. However, when Jaster learned women were being admitted to Ranger School, she jumped at the chance. 6 months later, Jaster graduated the course, earning the coveted Ranger Tab at age 37, and becoming the first female Army Reserve officer to become Ranger qualified. This being even more impressive considering the average trainee age is 23.
Captain Katie Hernandez, an EOD officer, is much as a badass as you’d think she is and then some. She recently shattered the world record for the fastest woman to run a mile in a bomb suit. She completed the feat in 10 minutes and 23 seconds while wearing a 96lbs bomb suit.
There are countless more badass women who deserve recognition. I would encourage everyone to explore more historical accounts, in such places as the Foundation for Women Warriors, to learn more about the contributions women have had to the world’s greatest military.