Happenings at the Museum
MUSEUM TOURING VIRTUALLY MUSEUM TODAY
Fort Lee JROTC Museum Challenge.
The Army Women’s Museum hosted 30 Air Force JROTC students from Mecklenburg High School. The cadets participated in the Fort Lee JROTC Museum Challenge – an exercise based on the four leadership themes of problem solving, logistics, innovation, and individual Soldier’s stories shared across the AWM, the Quartermaster Museum, and the Ordnance Training Support Facility.
The Aerial Delivery and Field Services Department (ADFSD) visits the AWM.
The Aerial Delivery and Field Services Department (ADFSD) selected the Army Women’s Museum as the location of their annual photo. ADFSD highlights installation sights each year as part of their departmental historical documentation. It was great to have so many red hats on site!
CMH History and Heritage Podcast #30 – Army Women’s History
The AWM Curator and FAWMA volunteer archivist, Vicki Archileti, were interviewed for the CMH History and Heritage Podcast #30. They discussed Army Women’s history, the role of the AWM in the Renaming of Fort Lee to Fort Gregg-Adams, and the development of their new 6888th Exhibit. The podcast is available at: https://www.dvidshub.net/audio/72788/us-army-history-and-heritage-podcast-ep30.
D-Day Memorial Staff visit the AWM.
Thirty-five staff and volunteers from the D-Day Memorial located in Bedford, VA, visited the Army Women’s Museum for a professional development field trip. The visitors were given a tour of the facilities by the AWM Curator and the Collections Curator. The museums have enjoyed a long and collaborative relationship with the D-Day Memorial.
2023 Fort Lee Martin Luther King Jr. Observance
The Army Women’s Museum supported the 2023 Fort Lee Martin Luther King Jr. Observance. The guest speaker was MSG (Ret) Andrea Motley Crabtree, the first female Army deep sea diver who is featured in the “Be All You Can Be” Gallery at the AWM. Crabtree shared a frank account of the challenges she faced in the Army diving program and the anger she felt when the MOS was closed to women and had to reclassify. After the ceremony, MG Simerly hosted a reception at the AWM where MSG (Ret) Crabtree gave coins to outstanding Fort Lee Soldiers. A few weeks later, CBS Evening News with Nora O’Donnell filmed a segment with MSG (Ret) Crabtree at the AWM that is set to air in April.
Color of Freedom Traveling Exhibit news segment highlights the partnership between the AWM and the Military Women’s Memorial to tell the stories of women of color in all branches of the military.
The Army Women’s Museum Curator and COL Jordan, the Combined Arms Support Command G3, were interviewed by CBS6 Richmond for a segment on The Color of Freedom traveling exhibit. The news segment highlighted the partnership between the AWM and the Military Women’s Memorial to tell the stories of women of color in all branches and was featured on the 6pm local news program. This media spotlight was also an opportunity to help with the Fort Lee redesignation communication and engagement strategy.
ANCHOR PODCAST WITH AWM CURATOR
The AWM Curator, Tracy Bradford participates in Podcast on the 6888th Central Postal District Battalion. https://anchor.fm/nextus818-podcast/episodes/Episode-6-Interview-with-Tracy-Bradford–Curator-of-the-U-S–Womens-Army-Museum-at-Fort-Lee–Virginia-e1qkmmu/a-a8d6hpr
The AWM featured in AUSA’s Army magazine.
The AWM was featured in the December 2022 issue of AUSA’s Army magazine. The article featured the AWM curator, Tracy Bradford who talked about the uniform changes for women in the Army and how the history of women in uniform has been intimately shaped by their contributions during several major conflicts.
6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion families visit the AWM.
It has been such an honor to work with 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion families as we prepare for our upcoming exhibit! In October, we met Carmen and Karen, daughters of PFC Annie Knight Jordan, and this month we met Janice, daughter of PFC Indiana Hunt-Martin. Luckily for us, both 6888th WACs did a wonderful job of documenting their Army experiences. In the top photo, Carmen and Karen are sharing their mother’s wealth of archives and below Janice is standing next to a photo of her mother and holding a jewelry box made for Indiana by a German POW in Rouen, France. Also in the photo is 6888th advocate, historian, and great friend of the museum, Edna Cummings. Thanks to all these women for helping us research and prepare for our new 6888th exhibit!
MG Mark Simerly and CSM Torres filming a news segment at the AWM.
MG Mark Simerly, Commander of the Combined Arms Support Command, filmed his 2022 Veterans Day NBC 12 news segment at Army Women’s Museum. He made sure to mention how important the museum is in capturing and interpreting Army women’s history for the nation.
AWM home for the Sustainment Pre-Command Course.
The AWM is now a permanent part of the Sustainment Pre-Command Course. Each cohort spends one day of their own training at the AWM and the Curator shares information about the museum’s Soldier History and Heritage Training Programs, the Gender Integration Initiative, and Women in Army History webpages for these future commanders.
Garrison Commander receives commemorative brick at the AWM.
COL Karin Watson, Garrison Commander, receiving a certificate from her staff for her commemorative brick at the AWM.
Renaming Commission selects Fort Gregg-Adams as the redesignated name for Fort Lee.
The AWM and FAWMA are celebrating the achievements of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion and LTC Charity Adams. The Naming Commission is recommending a new base name in her honor and the 6888th Congressional Gold Medal has been approved by Congress. The AWM with FAWMA’s support are planning to honor both the Six Triple-Eight and LTC Adams with an exhibit opening late 2023. Please help support our efforts!
CMH Women in Army History webpage launch.
The Army Women’s Museum and the West Point Center for Oral History (COH) are partnering to collect oral histories in support of the Gender Integration Initiative. The AWM Curator, Education Specialist, and COH Director, LTC Dave Siry have been meeting to identify opportunities to capture and share these unique perspectives. The first collaboration was an interview with MAJ Nargis Mougey, a field artillery officer who saw her picture on the “Trust Transcends Gender” Facilitator’s Guide and reached out to share information about her experiences integrating combat arms. The COH Oral Histories will be added as an additional resource on the CMH gender integration webpage.
To view MAJ Mougey’s Oral History: https://www.westpointcoh.org/interviews/my-passion-is-service-to-others-and-the-nation-an-afghan-immigrant-s-journey-to-west-point-and-the-field-artillery
CMH Women in Army History webpage launch.
The new CMH Women in Army History webpage has launched! Accessible from the main CMH site, this website hosts six content areas that align with the galleries in the Army Women’s Museum. The site contains over 5,000 words of intro text and contextual photo captions, 60 hi-res images and 10 hi-res interpretive panels, links to 12 additional online resources, easy and intuitive user interface (UI), all with a CMH and AWM education mission focus.
AWM collection professionally photographed.
Pablo Jimenez and Albert Tellez photographing artifacts at the AWM.
The Army Museum Enterprise supported a major effort at the AWM to get highlights of the collection professionally photographed. Pablo Jimenez, the photographer assigned to the Museum Support Center at Fort Belvoir, and Albert Tellez, a Museum Specialist at Fort Bragg, were sent on TDY to the AWM for an entire week. With the help of the Fort Lee Collections Team, they were able to take pictures of over forty items as well as capture images of the galleries.
Task Force Eagle’s efforts to support the DOD’s Women, Peace, and Security Strategy and the partnership developed with the AWM to educate Afghan women about women’s history in the United States.
In November, LTG Maria Gervais, TRADOC Deputy Commanding General/Chief of Staff, visited the Army Women’s Museum. The visit focused on Task Force Eagle’s efforts to support the DOD’s Women, Peace, and Security Strategy and the partnership developed with the AWM to educate Afghan women about women’s history in the United States. LTG Gervais welcomed Afghan women and children in the AWM classroom and led a discussion about the possibilities now available to them here in America. She made note of the importance of this conversation taking place in the Army Women’s Museum and reminded the Afghans that Army women have a long history of facing and overcoming challenges. LTG Gervais also recognized the Female Engagement Team members who have worked with the Afghan women since July and emphasized that the work they are doing is groundbreaking. LTG Gervais was then given a tour of the galleries by the AWM Curator. She expressed gratitude for the partnership with Task Force Eagle and was pleased that the AWM could be instrumental in this larger effort to empower Afghan women.
Maggie Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies visited the Museums
As part of an annual partnership, students from the Maggie Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies visited the Museums at Fort Lee in November. These students, enrolled in a Senior Seminar entitled The Age of Total War, learning a thematic approach to exploring the concept of total war with regard to WWI and WWII. A major component of the seminar was the role of museums and exhibits in shaping the public’s collective memory of these wars. The students toured both the Army Women’s Museum and the Quartermaster Museum, worked on a primary source activity with archives at the AWM, and then participated in a roundtable discussion with the AWM Curator, the QMM Curator, and the Director of the Fort Lee Army Museum Enterprise.
AWM partners with the National Museum of the Pacific
On March 26, 2021, the Virtual Education Specialist co-hosted a program with the National Museum of the Pacific, a facility devoted to WWII in the Pacific for a program called Wonder Women of World War II. Our own, Gail Taylor Black represented FAWMA, as a guest speaker to talk about her experiences delivering mail during her service and the history of the 6888th Postal Battalion.
AUSA Army Matters Podcast Special Edition with the AWM
On March 24, 2021, a AUSA Army Matters Podcast Special Edition: Army Women’s Museum was published. SMA (Ret) Dan Dailey interviewed the Curator, Tracy Bradford, Collections Specialist, Ron Bingham, and Friends of the Army Women’s Museum Association Co-President, COL (R) Aimee Kominiak. Click on the link below to listen to the event. Link: https://podcast.ausa.org/
AWM Curator is guest speaker at the Virginia War Memorial for Women’s History Month
On March 23, 20201, the Curator participated in a Virginia War Memorial Women’s History Day Panel. The panel discussion focused on the 6888th Central Postal Battalion. The Curator shared pictures from the AWM archives of LTC Charity Adams, whose uniform is on display at the AWM. Link: https://vimeo.com/528268739
CASCOM Women’s History Month Program
On March 18, 2021, the Curator was the guest speaker for the CASCOM Women’s History Month Program. In accordance with this year’s theme Valiant Women of the Vote, she delivered a program about Army women’s participation in World War I and the impact their service had on women getting the right to vote. There were 300 participants – some in the Fort Lee Theater and some virtual.
AWM presents program with the D-Day Memorial
On March 4, 2021, the Curator presented a program for the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia. The program called From Here to Over There: Women of WWII was a partnership for their Virtual Lunch and Learn Series. A recording of the presentation can be found on the D-Day Memorial You Tube Channel. Link: https://youtu.be/VLXD4jXgJSQ.
QM BOLC Class 20-014 visit the Museum
Thirty-eight students from QM BOLC Class 20-014 volunteered at the museum on Saturday, January 23, 2021. The students also enjoyed a tour of the museum to learn about Army Women’s History.
Welcome Tracy Bradford, new Curator of the AWM
Tracy Bradford has worked in the Army Museum Enterprise for over a decade. She is returning to lead the Army Women’s Museum after three years as a Museum Educator in the Programs and Education Department at the National Museum of the United States Army (NMUSA). At the National Museum, Tracy led a nationally recognized interdisciplinary team that recruited and trained over 200 volunteers for the NMUSA Docent Corps. Tracy was the Director of Education at the United States Army Women’s Museum prior to moving to NMUSA. An educator for twenty-five years, Tracy has taught in secondary education, private industry, and the federal government. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from The College of William & Mary and a Master of Arts from The George Washington University. She served as the educational consultant for the PBS documentary Unsung Heroes: The Story of America’s Female Patriots. Tracy has presented at the Smithsonian Institution, the Virginia Association of Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, and The Society for Military History.
Welcome back, Tracy!
Dr. Francoise Bonnell receives a medal
Dr. Bonnell was presented with the Samuel Sharpe Medal on Friday, 9/25. She spoke of how she came to be an ordnance officer and what a wonderful opportunity it was and how that career path allowed her to meet the love of her life, Charles Bonnell.
Farewell to Dr. Francoise Bonnell, AWM Director
Dr. Bonnell, long time director of the Army Women’s Museum, was celebrated for her great successes in preserving the legacy of Army Women. She was honored at a luncheon prior to her last day as the AWM Director on August 21, 2020. Dr. Bonnell’s long list of accomplishments were cited, with significant emphasis on the 2018 reopening of the museum after an expansion and complete renovation of the Galleries. Dr. Bonnell, along with her staff, guided this project from concept to execution over a 4 year period that included seeking funding, developing the new look and working with FAWMA on our fundraising campaign. The Grand Opening was a huge success with many General Officers speaking and was highlighted by large crowds eager to see the new exhibits. Since the Grand Opening, Dr. Bonnell has launched a Virtual Tour as she recognized many people were unable to visit the museum in person but were deeply vested in the history of women in the Army. The virtual tour has been praised by many.
Dr. Bonnell has accepted a position with the Fort Monroe Authority as Director of the Casemate Museum. Dr. Bonnell will also be responsible for specific educational/outreach activities. The Fort Monroe Authority (FMA) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia, created to preserve, protect, and manage Fort Monroe and Old Point Comfort after the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) closure in September 2011. We look forward to following Dr. Bonnell’s achievements at the Fort Monroe site as we know she will have many ideas on all fronts.
New transport at the Army Women’s Museum
Virtual Staff Meetings
Excellence in All They Do at the Army Women’s Museum
In 2019, US Army Women’s Museum staff, under the outstanding leadership of Education Director, Mr. Jimmy Price, conducted 18 live-broadcast programs for over 600 learners of all ages, and that hard work has recently been noticed! The Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC) has awarded two of AWM programs their “Value Seals of Alignment.”
The program “Island of Integration: The Desegregation of the U.S. Army” earned CILC’s Value Seal of Alignment for Life Long Learning, Global Learning, Authentic Learning, and Diverse Learning, giving it a perfect 4 out of 4. One recent user evaluation for this program said, “This was one of the best classes we have ever taken through CILC and we will be using them again!”
Another museum offering entitled “100 Years Ago: An Exploration of America’s Role in WWI” also won CILC’s Value Seal of Alignment for Diverse Learning and Authentic Learning. According to the center, “Programs that align to CILC’s four core values are recognized for quality and awarded these seals, based on recognition by our Value Ambassadors, Staff, and members’ feedback.” This coming year the museum staff will build upon the successes of previous years with even greater achievements as they continue to reach students around the globe with this amazing educational tool.
If you are interested in arranging museum programs for your organizations please visit their website and use the contact button or give them a call. https://awm.lee.army.mil/
The Army Women’s Museum REACHING Outside Its Walls.
Virtual Tour is Live!
We are pleased to announce that through your donations FAWMA has been able to fund a virtual tour of the museum. This is especially meaningful since we know that many of you love the museum but are unable to travel to see it in person.
Right after the new year, the staff of the Army Women’s Museum worked with a contractor and a few volunteers to film a 360 degree virtual tour of the museum. Seen here is a member of the tour production company directing three soldiers for a shot in the museum’s “21st Century Army” gallery. Once complete, we will be providing a link for you to check out the tour and the special items that will be featured from the Museum’s collection that are not included in the current exhibits!
On 30 August, over 530 AIT trainees from 16th Ordnance Battalion toured the museum. Rotating through in groups of 100, the soldiers received a brief orientation on Army women’s history before embarking on an exploration of the new exhibits. The newly-renovated galleries proved accommodating for such a large group and many soldiers had their curiosity piqued, asking numerous questions and voicing how much they enjoyed everything they experienced in the museum.