Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
A fundraising campaign to make little green Army women absolutely crushed its goal
Little girls everywhere will soon have the chance to play with a set of classic little green Army soldiers that actually reflect the presence of women in the armed forces.
A Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of plastic Army women, originally launched on Thursday, crushed its fundraising goal of $11,400 in just 12 hours.
As of Friday morning, almost 400 supporters had raised $16,610; by the time I was done writing this article, that number had reached $17,465.
Jeff Imel, the CEO of Scranton, Pennsylvania-based BMC Toys and man behind the campaign, explained that he sold plastic Army men "for many years," and would occasionally be asked if he had any women soldiers. He didn't, and realized that no one else was making them.
Imel said that he got serious about the idea when a retired Navy sailor told him she was looking for women toy soldiers for her granddaughters, and "came armed with compelling facts about the ever-increasing numbers and roles of women" in the U.S. armed forces.
"I decided it was time to get moving," Imel wrote on Kickstarter.
In September, Imel announced that the company would produce a set of Army women that would be available by Christmas 2020.
According to the Kickstarter page, the company originally planned to produce a 24-piece set that included plastic soldiers in six different poses: a Grenadier, Bazooka Operator, Standing Rifleman, Kneeling Rifleman, Pathfinder Captain, and Prone Sniper. T
The soldiers' uniforms and equipment will be "Cold War era" and designed explicitly to "allow these figures to fit in with a wide range of Plastic Army Men that already populate several generations of toy boxes."
What some of the new toy soldiers are expected to look like.(Kickstarter)
Imel said in the Kickstarter that the campaign "will help fund production and fulfillment, but even more importantly, it will let me know how many sets to produce." Because the initial goal has been met, funding will go towards "stretch goals," that will help Imel make more poses.
The first stretch goal — $13,800 in funding — has already been met and will allow Imel to add a Running Rifleman and Combat Medic to the set. The next stretch goal of $17,800 would bring in a Radio Operator and Low-Crawl figures to make a set of 30 figures in 10 different poses.
The idea of women soldiers took off when a six-year-old girl, Vivian Lord, wrote a letter to toy companies asking why they don't make "girl army men." According to the New York Times, Lord saw a set of pink plastic soldiers, but soon discovered they were still men.
That simply wouldn't do: As she wrote in her letter, some girls don't even like pink!
"My friend's mom is in the Army too!!" Lord wrote "So why don't you make them too!!!!! I saw the pink ones but those aren't girls and people in the Army don't wear pink. Some girls don't like pink so please can you make Army girls that look like women. I would play with them every day and my friends would too!"
Imel previously told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he's not making the toys "100 percent historically accurate.
"This is based upon who I'm making this for," he said. "Which is kids."
Disclosure: This reporter previously pledged $15 to the BMC Toys Kickstarter campaign.
Correction: A previous version of this article identified the company as BCM Toys instead of BMC Toys.
- TIMELINE: A History Of Women In The US Military - Task & Purpose ›
- A toy company will make little green women soldiers after a 6-year ... ›
A collision between a Coast Guard boat and a Navy vessel near Kodiak Island, Alaska on Wednesday landed six coasties and three sailors to the hospital, officials said.
The Navy has identified the two Defense Department civilians who were killed in a shooting Wednesday at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii.
A shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida has left four people dead, including the gunman, law enforcement officials said at a Friday news conference.
The shooter and two victims were killed at the base and another victim died after being taken to the hospital, said Chip Simmons, deputy chief of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office.
Another seven people remain hospitalized, including two sheriff's deputies who engaged the gunman, Simmons said at Friday's news conference. One was hit in the arm and the other was shot in the knee. Both are expected to recover.
Widespread sexism and gender bias in the Marine Corps hasn't stopped hundreds of female Marines from striving for the branch's most dangerous, respected and selective jobs.
Six years after the Pentagon officially opened combat roles to women in 2013, 613 female Marines and sailors now serve in them, according to new data released by the Marine Corps.
"Females are now represented in every previously-restricted occupational field," reads a powerpoint released this month on the Marine Corps Integration Implementation Plan (MCIIP), which notes that 60% of those female Marines and sailors now serving in previously-restricted units joined those units in the past year.
The troubled 22-year-old Pearl Harbor sailor identified as shooting three shipyard workers Wednesday and then killing himself may have come from a troubled ship.
Gabriel Romero, a sailor on the submarine USS Columbia, fatally shot two civilian workers and wounded a third while the Los Angeles-class vessel is in Dry Dock 2 for a two-year overhaul, according to The Associated Press and other sources.
Romero "opened fire on shipyard personnel with his M-4 service rifle and then turned his M9 service pistol on himself," Fox News Pentagon reporter Lucas Tomlinson reported, citing a preliminary incident report.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam was not able to provide information Thursday on a report that multiple suicides have occurred on the Columbia.
Hawaii News Now said Romero was undergoing disciplinary review and was enrolled in anger management classes.