About the Museum
|Visit the Museum on Facebook|
The U.S. Army Women's Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to Army women. The Museum honors women's contributions to the Army from the Revolutionary War to the present, telling their stories with interactive exhibits and videos throughout the gallery, as well as film presentations in our theater. The museum also has an extensive research and learning center, unique gift shop and memorial garden.
The U.S. Army Women's Museum is located at Fort Lee, Virginia.
The U.S. Army Women's Museum is proud to announce that the Army Women's Museum now has a virtual tour of the museum. With help from the Friends of the Army Women's Museum Association and a generous grant from the Cameron Foundation, Petersburg VA, the Museum's gallery can be visited from around the world. Check out the tour as it showcases our new exhibits and has an audio tour, video clips, and artifacts from the collection that many Museum visitors have never seen!
The U.S. Army Women's Museum serves as an educational institution, providing military history training and instruction to soldiers, veterans and the civilian community. The museum is the custodian and repository of artifacts and archival material pertaining to the service of women across all branches and organizations of the U.S. Army from inception to the present day. The museum collects, preserves, manages, interprets and exhibits these unique artifacts as a means to provide training and educational outreach.
Above Source: US Army Women's Museum
Access to Fort Lee & US Army Women's Museum Changes
Full operation of the Fort Lee Visitor Control Center began Tuesday in preparation for new Army-mandated gate access procedures that go into full effect June 15, 2015.
The measures fulfill more stringent requirements to vet non-military identification cardholders by conducting criminal background checks prior to entering the post. Access will be denied to visitors with background checks that contain credible derogatory information indicating they may present a threat to the good order, discipline and/or health and safety of the Army community.
"Frequent visitors or guests who do not have the appropriate military ID to access the installation unescorted should come to the VCC as soon as possible to request a background check and access pass before the full implementation of these new procedures," said Tony DeWitt, director of Emergency Services at Fort Lee.
"We especially want companies and contractors with commercial drivers regularly coming to Fort Lee to submit access request forms through their government sponsor in advance so we can get them vetted and issue passes," DeWitt said. He added that families and guests of service members attending graduations and other ceremonies on post are similarly encouraged to download and complete forms ahead of time to prevent any unnecessary delays entering post.
"The only thing pre-vetted visitors need to do is pick up their access pass at the VCC when they arrive - this saves everyone time and makes the process much smoother," DeWitt said.
The primary VCC is located in the visitors' center building adjacent to Lee Gate off Route 36. It will be open 5 a.m.-11 p.m. weekdays and - after June 15 - 6 a.m.-11 p.m. on weekends and federal holidays. Forms and additional information about the background checks and access procedures are available online at: www.lee.army.mil/pmo/access.aspx. Those who still have questions or concerns after visiting the website can contact the VCC at (804) 734-5053 during operating hours.
The VCC parking lot entrance is on the right before the security checkpoint. Those who know they will require screening are asked to go directly to the VCC rather than having to be redirected by gate guards, which will help alleviate traffic delays at the gates. DeWitt said drivers entering Fort Lee should expect delays during morning and lunch hours for about a month following full implementation.
"During the initial implementation period, we encourage our regular military ID cardholders to use the Sisisky, Mahone or A Avenue access points when coming to work in the morning," DeWitt said. "That should reduce traffic backups, as well. We just ask everyone to be patient and courteous during this time - everything will smooth out once people get used to the new requirements."
Those who are considered properly "vetted" - basically anyone with a valid military-issued identification card - will not be impacted by this new procedure. All others 18 years of age and older will be subject to a background check and, if no derogatory criminal information is found, given an access pass valid for periods ranging from 24 hours to a year based on how often they access the post and other factors.
DeWitt said those who are denied access to the post will be provided instructions to request a waiver, which will require a justification for the request supported by court documents and written descriptions of any rehabilitative steps taken since the conviction.
"Examples of derogatory information that would result in denial of access include, but are not limited to, a felony conviction of sexual assault or rape, armed robbery, child molestation, production or possession of child pornography, trafficking in humans, and/or drug possession with intent to sell or distribute," DeWitt said. "Registered sex offenders also would be denied access."
DES officials continue to encourage individuals who know they have criminal information in their records that might result in denial of access to start gathering the documents they'll need to file a waiver request. The Provost Marshal Office here does not have access to court paperwork, and it cannot assist individuals with obtaining documents.
"The waiver request process will take about 10 working days if everything is in order," DeWitt said. "There are no shortcuts; we're doing everything in accordance with the policy guidelines issued by the Army."
Later this year, weekend and holiday operations will be conducted at a second VCC at Sisisky Gate, which is the post's main access point. This is in preparation for the eventual transition of all VCC operations to that gate once a new facility opens there in 2016.
There have been a lot of questions in the community about the new Department of Defense-mandated access procedures at Fort Lee that go into full effect on June 15. Everyone who does not have a military identification card will be required to go through a background check before entering the installation and may acquire a pass for an extended period of time no longer than a year. Tony DeWitt, director of Emergency Services at Fort Lee, answers some frequently asked questions.
Q: Can you walk through what a person would need to do when entering Fort Lee for the first time?
A: "Effective June 15, when a person comes to Fort Lee without a proper ID card, no matter what gate he or she may go through, we will give them directions to the Lee gate VCC (Visitor Control Center) building. There they will present their driver's license, complete Fort Lee form 190-3, and we'll do an NCIC-III background check (National Criminal Information Center Interstate Integrated Index) on the spot and if the background check comes up clear, we will grant them access based upon the purpose of coming on post. If the person's coming to look at the museums or visit someone working on post for one day, we'll grant them a 24-hour pass, and family members of soldiers, they'll go through the same process and we'll give them an extended period of time, maybe three or four days or a week for something like graduation."
Q: How long will the background checks take?
A: "The actual background check will be less than five minutes. However, wait time depends upon the number of people in the queue. There may be a line, but the background check itself is less than five minutes to include issuance of the pass."
Q: So once you get a pass you can go straight through the gates on subsequent days?
A: "Once you get that pass, that pass will allow you to come through any gate at Fort Lee for that period of time that pass is valid. If the pass should expire, you'll have to go through the process again. We're going to build a database so if you said you came here two months ago, we should be able to find that out and say 'OK we've ran the check already,' but in some cases we'll have to do an additional check, depending on the time since that pass expired."
Q: What about retirees and spouses?
A: "Retirees have been vetted, spouses are vetted, family members of reserves, the National Guard, they're already vetted, all military personnel have been vetted already."
Q: Fort Lee has stated that it is looking for "derogatory information" which includes felony convictions of sexual assault or rape, armed robbery, child molestation, human trafficking and drug charges. If you are denied access for something that happened 20 years ago, is there a waiver process?
A: "The waiver process is, once that person is notified that we've denied them access, we'll give them a packet of information to complete and mail into an address we'll give them also. We will take what the person presents back to us along with the NCIC-III background check and we'll determine if that person is not a threat to Fort Lee. For an incident that happened 25, 30 years ago, if the person was young, 16, 21, 22 years old as an example, that person may not be a threat. The threat may be low and that person would be granted access. In the same token, the person may have committed a felony within the last year or so and have not established enough time to for us to determine that they're not a threat to Fort Lee."
Q: It will take at least 10 days for the waiver process, what if contractors from outside companies, who are required to come on post for their job, are denied access? Will they have to wait 10 days as well for the waiver process?
A: "If that person is denied, that person must get the waiver packet, complete that packet and get it in to us, we'll have to go through it and look at everything and make a determination. It won't happen the same day. Ten days is a good working number, but it may go a day or two over that."
Q: What if the information in the database is wrong?
A: "If something's wrong, we'll have to sort it out. People make mistakes, so we understand that. We'll do our best to work with whomever is affected by that to get them proper access to the installation."
Q: What about those attending non-Fort Lee events at the Lee Club like a chamber of commerce dinner?
A: "For a chamber of commerce dinner, normally those personnel will come through the Provost office and we know about them and we vet those people in advance. On the flip side, there may be a wedding at the Club, we'd have vet all those guests well in advance."
Q: What about big events such as Fourth at the Fort and Grand Illumination?
A: "For the Fourth at the Fort, Gen. Stephen Lyons has given Col. Paul Brooks the verbal authority to open that event up as an exception where we will allow everyone to come on post, but we will be checking driver's licenses and we will be doing what we call 'rounds.' Some cars may be pulled over to the side for a full inspection, but other than that, everyone will be free to come on board . We haven't determined Grand Illumination yet."
Q: Can an individual request a pass in advance of their visit?
A: "Sure. Anyone can go online, download the form, email it back to our mailbox and when they come on post, the check would've already been done and the pass will be ready to be issued . It's much quicker than waiting in line."
Q: How many people will be affected by this change?
A: "It's difficult to determine how many visitors we get a day, but for the past two weeks we've been passing out fliers to people who don't have a proper ID to let them know that on June 15, we're enforcing the standards and as of last week we gave out more than 14,000 fliers. Now, it could have been the same people coming to work every day without an ID . so we can't tell you for sure."
Q: Will this increase traffic flow?
A: "No, I think our traffic flow will be about the same. I do anticipate the first few days, from say June 15 to June 18 or June 19, we do anticipate visitors not knowing the new procedures and they'll be turnarounds at the gate so it may delay somebody as we get them to turn their vehicle around to get them to the VCC at Lee gate, but our traffic should be normal volume."
Q: Is this an initiative to reduce crime or prevent crime on post?
A: "I think the directive is toward making our installations more secure and safe because of people in the world that want to harm the military installation and military people so the Department of Defense decided to institute this policy DOD-wide."
Q: Is there anything else you'd like the public to know?
A: "I'd just ask our public to be patient, the folks who have ID cards already, just be patient with the visitors coming in asking questions to the gate guards. It might delay someone ten extra seconds to get on post so just be aware and be safe as they come through the control access points."
The temporary VCC is located at the immediate right upon entering the Lee Avenue gate. However, another VCC is being built at the Sisisky Boulevard gate and will be completed by the fall. Once that is finished, the Sisisky gate will take over as the main gate. On week days, the VCC at the Lee gate will operate from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. when the gate closes. The Sisisky gate will be open 24-hours, but VCC operations will only take place from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. On weekends, the VCC at Sisisky will operate from 6 a.m. to 11p.m.
FORT LEE, Va. - History came alive Oct. 23, 2012 as the U.S. Army Women's Museum participated in a documentary highlighting the service of women in the armed forces.
The production is called "Unsung Heroes -- The Story of America's Female Patriots," and focuses on the accomplishments and advancements women from all branches of service have made throughout American history. It is produced by Academy Award winner Ron Howard and written and directed by Emmy winner Frank Martin.
Francoise Bonnell, U.S. Army Women's Museum director, provides a historic overview and references to use as the backdrop for the production. She shares stories and personal accounts of female servicemembers from the Revolutionary War to the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
One of the accounts Bonnell highlights is the awarding of the Medal of Honor to Mary Edwards Walker. She was a doctor during the Civil War, who was an alleged spy and captured as a prisoner of war. To this date, she is the only woman to ever be awarded the nation's highest military honor.
Staff Sgts. Jessica Cobble and Guadalupe Alexander, Soldiers assigned to the Combined Arms Support Command, were also interviewed. The two recounted personal stories of what life was like being deployed in a combat environment, as both served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Cobble was assigned as a mortuary affairs collection point noncommissioned officer during her deployments. Alexander was attached to an infantry unit in Iraq and provided automated logistics support in both theaters.
Stories such as those of Walker, Cobble and Alexander, will fill this two-hour documentary special. It will air on the Public Broadcasting Service, but it has been delayed, and is now expected to air in March 2014.
Click here for the original story.