DVIDS – News – Army Golden Knights Celebrate Women’s History Month
From the battlefields of the American Revolution to our current conflicts across the country; women have served in the military in one form or another for over 200 years.
Two women from the U.S. Army Parachute Team reflect on their experiences and hopes for future female skydivers during this year’s Women’s History Month.
The USAPT, also nicknamed the Golden Knights, began its mission in 1959 as the first parachute display team for the Army.
Staff Sgt. Jen Davidson (PU), a Gold Demonstration Team demonstrator and world skydiving champion, began her military career at age 17.
“I joined the reserves (army reserves) because I wanted to get the college experience…after I graduated, I reclassified, deployed and then came to try out for the team,” Davidson said. .
Since the Army’s inception in 1776, although women have not always been allowed to enlist in the United States Armed Forces, many have still found ways to serve their nation.
In 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Entry Act so that women could officially serve.
The Golden Knights had their first female assigned to the unit in 1983. Since then, there have only been 26 active female jumpers assigned to the team; and Davidson is currently the only one.
“I heard about skydiving and the team while I was in college, and I knew then it was something I wanted to do,” Davidson said.
Davidson has been with the team since 2008 and has made many significant accomplishments in the skydiving community, not just as a woman, but as a highly skilled skydiver.
She has won several gold medals in world level competitions and has broken several national and world records individually and as a teammate.
“Master Sgt. Jennifer Davis is truly one of a kind; breaking records for the military and setting the bar higher for the next generation of female paratroopers,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jesse Stahler, former chief of staff. “competition team.” She won World Meet gold with the Golden Knights 4-way women’s skydiving training team in 2016. The next two seasons, she would become the only female competitor in the FS 8-way team. and helped achieve the fourth consecutive world program. Meet the Gold in 2018. Master Sgt. Davidson is a true champion and a natural competitor through and through.
Karen Morrison, a former Golden Knight, explains the importance of female heritage in the team.
“I remember one of my first demo shows I did and a little girl came up to me and said she didn’t know women could skydive. It was very important to me to have that representation,” Morrison said,
Morrison came to the team in 1992 and served as a demonstrator and competitor on the team for 14 years after fulfilling other Army obligations.
Morrison recounts the time she and three other female Gold Knights staged a demonstration at the annual Warriors on the Water Fishing Tournament at Jordan Lake in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Warriors on the Water is an annual military appreciation bass fishing tournament that hosts over 150 service members. At the 2008 tournament, the former Golden Knights women’s style and precision team performed their aerial display in front of the crowd and finished by landing on the back of four bass fishing boats.
“This event took place in a crowd composed mainly of men! When we finished, we got so much great feedback,” Morrison recalled. “I remember this old lady coming up to me and telling me how amazed she was watching the demonstration; and that women would never have been allowed to do that in his time.
Servicewomen had to overcome decades of obstacles to get to where they are today; serving in greater numbers, in combat roles and in leadership positions all over the world.
“I think it’s kind of cool to publicly be an inspiration to little girls and maybe change their mindset about what they’re capable of,” Davidson said.
If you are interested in joining the Army, please visit GoArmy.com or visit your local recruiter for more information.
|Date posted:||16.03.2022 12:03|
|Location:||North Carolina, USA|
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