In the talk, Lemmon specifically honors the subject of her most recent book, 2nd Lt. Ashley White, a cultural support team member who made the ultimate sacrifice alongside two Rangers in October 2011 while serving in the line of duty. Lemmon’s book, “Ashley’s War,” is in the process of being adapted into a movie produced by Reese Witherspoon, says Army Times.
The book centers around a team of women who deployed in support of combat operations in Afghanistan, where it can be incredibly difficult to reach the female populace due to taboos revolving around gender norms.
Lemmon says,“If you want to understand what's happening in a community and in a home, you talk to women, whether you're talking about southern Afghanistan, or Southern California.” Therefore responding to the need to acquire more information to aid the operations in the region, the U.S. began the process of developing cultural support teams in 2009.
These teams were extremely valuable not only in winning hearts and minds, but just as importantly, in ascertaining nearby threats that otherwise would go unnoticed by the Ranger units operating in the area. Lemmon offers examples of cultural support team members uncovering threats from hidden insurgents lying in wait, to discovering the roadway they were meant to take was littered with ordinance. The role these women played in special operations units was undeniably valuable, and likewise unprecedented.
Cultural support teams were made up entirely of women who “at this time in the war … would be seeing the kind of combat experienced by less than five percent of the entire United States military,” while women were still officially banned from combat.
“These may well be our own Tuskegee airmen,” Lemmon adds among loud expressions of affirmation, referring to the first all-black pilots to serve in combat missions during World War II. Her comparison draws parallels between the removal of restrictions on minorities serving in the armed forces and the ongoing fight for inclusion of women in combat roles.
Lemmon concludes by honoring the progress of these women pioneers, and shares a moment from White’s funeral, where a stranger told White’s mother, “I brought my child here today because I wanted her to know what a hero was, and I wanted her to know that heroes could be women too.”
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid $13,000 over a three-month period for a senior official's biweekly commute to Washington from his home in California, according to expense reports obtained by ProPublica.
Staff Sgt. John Eller conducts pre-flights check on his C-17 Globemaster III Jan. 3 prior to taking off from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii for a local area training mission. Sgt. Eller is a loadmaster from the 535th Airlift Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)
CUCUTA, Colombia — The Trump administration ratcheted up pressure Saturday on beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, dispatching U.S. military planes filled with humanitarian aid to this city on the Venezuelan border.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.
President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval.
A pair of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron VF-211 Fighting Checkmates in flight over Iraq in 2003/Department of Defense
Since the sequel to the 1986 action flick (and wildly successful Navy recruitment tool) Top Gun, was announced, there's been a lot of speculation on what Top Gun: Maverick will be about when it premieres in June 2020. While the plot is still relatively unclear, we know Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and he'll be joined by a recognizable costar: The iconic F-14 Tomcat.
It looks like the old war plane will be coming out of retirement for more than just a cameo. A number of recently surfaced photos show an F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, alongside Cruise and members of the film's production crew, the Drive's Tyler Rogoway first reported earlier this week.