Women are making significant contributions every day to security efforts around the world, a senior U.S. European Command leader emphasized during an international security presentation earlier this month.
“I believe that women frame problems, apply experiences, demonstrate important sensitivities, attend to details, and present considerations in a way that can have a powerfully positive impact on peace and security,” U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Jessica Meyeraan told a joint meeting of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) and the OSCE Permanent Council on March 10.
During her presentation, remarking on the importance of women’s roles marking International Women’s Day, Meyeraan told the council that women made contributions to U.S. military efforts during World Wars I and II, but their significance in the ranks has risen since the draft ended in 1973 and the country shifted to an all-volunteer force. Between 1973 and 2019, the number of women in U.S. enlisted ranks increased from 2% to 16.6% and the number of commissioned officers increased from 4% to 18.4%. More than 224,000 women serve in uniform today in the U.S. military, accounting for approximately 17% of the total force.
Meyeraan’s presentation was part of the council’s discussion about ways to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) that was adopted in 2000.
Across U.S. European Command, women are serving in a wide variety of roles at all levels throughout the theater. They serve in key positions, including as defense attaches, medical professionals, and cyber security and IT experts.
“Women contribute every day as part of our high-performing team of professionals,” said U.S. Air Force Major General David Julazadeh, chief of staff for USEUCOM. “We value all of our employees and their dedication to the USEUCOM mission every day.”
Meryeaan also noted that many countries throughout Europe have made important strides to incorporate women into their ranks. She emphasized that education and training opportunities will remain a vital part of continued progress for women around the world.
”Implementing WPS isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” Meyeraan offered. “We recognize that when women actively and meaningfully contribute to security, their nations are more secure and inclusive and can better detect gender-based threats and vulnerabilities,” she said during her closing remarks.
For more information about women, peace and security visit defense.gov.
U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) is responsible for U.S. military operations across Europe, portions of Asia and the Middle East, the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean. USEUCOM is comprised of more than 64,000 military and civilian personnel and works closely with NATO Allies and partners. The command is one of two U.S. forward-deployed geographic combatant commands headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. For more information about USEUCOM, visit https://www.eucom.mil.