Jelinski-Hall: Uniform Unites Genders

NGAUS Washington Report

(June 4, 2013) Male and female service members are united by the uniform they wear and by a single, shared standard, the senior enlisted advisor to the chief of the National Guard Bureau said in Arlington, Va., recently.

"We do not serve based on gender, race or creed," Chief Master Sgt. Denise Jelinski-Hall said during a ceremony at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. "We serve united by the uniforms we wear. 

Noting that the lifting of a ban on women serving in combat is exponentially increasing opportunities for women in the military, Jelinski-Hall stressed the importance of a single standard regardless of gender. 

"As you move forward to seize your opportunity, remember there is no separate standard for men and women," she said at a Women in the Military wreath-laying ceremony sponsored by the Congressional Caucus on Women's Issues. 

"There is only the standard," Jelinski-Hall said. "Any woman who can meet the standard for the particular role she seeks in our armed forces can, and increasingly does, have the opportunity to succeed and to serve." 

Nearing the end of a career that took her from the Midwest prairie to the Pentagon and from airman to the senior enlisted advisor for a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Jelinski-Hall was one of five senior enlisted female service members honored as part of the ceremony on May 22. 

The others were Army Command Sgt. Maj. Billie Jo Boersma, Navy Master Chief April Beldo, Marine Sgt. Maj. Angela Maness and Coast Guard Master Chief Julie Gunderson.