JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
Throughout American history, women have helped build the nation. Along the way, women have fought for equal rights for themselves and others. Women's History Month recognizes these women for all of their hard work, positive influences and changing the world.
For Joint Base Charleston, Women's History Month recognizes women serving in the military and highlighting the sacrifices they made to be successful. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Laura Davis, Detachment Three Combat Logistics Battalion 451 supply chief, is one such woman.
Being a supply chief, she makes sure medical supplies and military vehicles are always available, as well as ensuring these items are combat ready at all times and the numbers her inventory matches the numbers in the paperwork.
"The equipment I take care of here ranges from office supplies and medical equipment, to armaments," said Davis.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Kirby Reynolds, 4th Medical Logistics Company, medical logistics specialist, Davis' coworker, says she is a valuable asset to the detachment.
"When something breaks we go to her to get our replacement parts," said Reynolds. "If she wasn't here, items wouldn't be repaired, and we might not have the appropriate supplies available."
On top of her responsibilities in the Marine Detachment, she is also a wife and mother.
"My big challenge is changing from Staff Sergeant Davis at work to being Laura Davis at home for my husband and son," said Davis. "It's difficult balancing being a Marine with being a wife and a mom. Even though it's challenging, I do everything I can not to let them down."
Having that kind of dedication and commitment to her Marines as well as her family. On top of her duties as a supply chief, wife and mother, Davis also handles another special duty.
"Our detachment does funeral details within a 150 mile radius," said Davis. "It's a lot of pressure, but they are humbling experiences. It's a big honor to take part in the ceremony and present the flag."
Davis said putting on her service dress uniform for funeral details is as big an honor as when she wore the uniform for her boot camp graduation.
"I think one of my biggest achievements and greatest days in the Marine Corps was graduating," said Davis. "As a person and as a woman, this was a defining moment. We go to the Eagle Globe and Anchor ceremony where our drill instructors hand us our eagle, globe and anchor and call us Marines for the first time. You feel it, because after all that time, you have finally earned the title of a U.S. Marine."
During Davis' nine years in the Marines, she has seen women's roles change.
"Within just the last few months, women are finally allowed to join combat career fields," said Davis. "Women were originally allowed to join as support. Now we're being allowed to be on artillery. I've also seen a lot of firsts for women in the Marine Corps, such as the first female Sgt. Maj. in an infantry division."
Seeing these changes, Davis says she has developed a strong opinion about what it means to be a woman and what women can accomplish.
"Women need to be prepared to understand that we are women However, we don't need to feel like we have to stop being women once we join the military." said Davis. "I think being a woman and embracing what you are and how different you are is what makes you stand out. If you bow to the pressure to be just like the guys, that will become a barrier you can't overcome. Be proud you're a woman, and be proud that you serve as a woman."
(This is the third story to a five-part series on Women's History Month.)