Military women:

We’ve got your back!


We’re AND — a positive voice for American military women.


Military women have earned our nation’s gratitude and our support.


Women have served in all American conflicts. It’s been 60 years since women became official, permanent members our military services. 


Today, women are a vital, irreplaceable part of our all-volunteer forces.  They have served — often in harm’s way — with distinction alongside their brothers and, unfortunately, all-too-many including those represented in our Gallery of Heroines have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.



Who We Are


A non-profit, tax-exempt educational organization comprised of veterans from all service branches and concerned civilians, AND collects the facts and figures – factual, thoughtful, objective information – on US military women and provides them to scholars, the media, national decision makers and the public.


Where we stand


We believe:

A full partnership between women and men strengthens America's military.

Military readiness and mission accomplishment are of critical importance.

Excellence in performance is required from all who serve in the armed forces, regardless of gender.

What We Do


AND covers the backs of military women, encouraging and promoting the vital role of military women in our nation's defense.


AND brings organizations and individuals together to continually monitor the accomplishments of American military women and the level of support they receive from their services. And we spread the word so everyone can better understand their sacrifices and the often unique challenges military women face in their services and in their lives.


We hope you will find this site a valuable resource on the status of and issues effecting military women.


We hope you will learn, join in discussions and make this site your  personal resource.


Be part of AND


AND is a member-supported organization and we invite you to join with us in supporting American Military women with your time and money.

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· President calls military sex offences “not only unacceptable, but illegal and unpatriotic.”

· DOD releases sexual assault report

· Congress set to change UCMJ ‘convening authority’ powers.

· Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response unit head charged with sexual battery


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The Invisible War

The Human Face of the

Military Sexual Assault Epidemic

The sexual assault epidemic remains — judging by recent developments — virulent.

One step forward, two steps backward is an excessively charitable way to describe DoD disarray in combatting this plague.

After all, what, exactly, does “zero tolerance” mean when some 26,000 members of the armed forces were sexually assaulted in 2012?”

Even after repeated admonitions from judges, defense lawyers   badgered the witness with questions — apparently permitted under the UCMJ — that would have led to sanctions if not disbarment in any other state or federal court.

We have little doubt that the UCMJ demands significant revision. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s The Military Justice Improvement Act  would interject legally trained officers into the process and  certainly a starting point.

But as AND Director Cdr. Darlene Iskra’s suggests, in the latest Advocate ‘the rapists will keep raping until someone stops them.’

Throughout history our military has successfully addressed problems other segments of society couldn’t.  And they did it through discipline and leadership.

Yes, we need to change laws.  Yes we must encourage changes (like the end of the direct combat exclusion) that devalue women’s contributions to a strong military.

But in the end it’s about leadership.

And leadership that does not actively and vigorously stand against sexual assault al every level encourages it.

The time for action is now! AND is deploying every resource at our disposal in order to fight this scourge with words and deeds.

When it comes to rape, everyone must pick sides.

You’re either with the victim or with the rapist.

Join us in siding with the women and men who have victimized by a system that — noble words aside — has all too often sided with the rapist.

As DoD officials call for more study on UCMJ changes many say would enhance protection for sexual assault victims and continue to struggle with efforts to stem the military rape epidemic, Australia's army chief, Gen. David Morrison, is getting rave reviews for a blistering video he released last month demanding, through clenched teeth, that sexists in his country's military mend their ways or find another place to work.  View that video here

The push to strip commanders of their authority to prosecute sexual assault cases got a boost from an official Pentagon advisory group that is calling on military leaders to support the proposed law.

DACOWITS, voted on Friday to support the controversial bill that is gaining steam, albeit slowly, on Capitol Hill.

The measure would remove from the chain of command the authority to investigate and prosecute sexual assault cases, along with many other serious crimes, and hand that over to an independent office of high-ranking military lawyers.

“To ensure the strong military justice system that is essential to preventing sexual assault and other serious crimes, DoD should support legislation to remove these decisions from the chain of command and make decision-making in the military justice system more independent and impartial,” the panel recommended last week.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and most of the Pentagon’s top brass oppose the measure, saying it could undermine commanders’ authority, threaten good order and discipline in the ranks and limit commanders’ ability to crack down on sexual assault— Military Times

Combat Exclusion Implementation

To engender real, meaningful change, friends of military women must hold our leaders ‘feet to the fire’ to ensure this groundbreaking change in policy is implemented expeditiously and in line with the intent of total integration based on gender neutral, performance-based standards. If the DoD can’t make it happen administratively, AND supports efforts to seek a judicial remedy.


Sexual Assault

AND strongly believes that rape is NOT an ‘occupational hazard’ of serving in the U.S. military.  Sexual assault is a crime that can only flourish only in a leadership vacuum.  Civilian and military leaders have ‘talked the talk’ on assault prevention. Join us in demanding that they now ‘walk the walk,’ matching tough words with tough deeds to eradicate this epidemic.



One of the best ways to understand the enormity of military sexual assault as well as its impact on women — and men — who serve is to view the The Invisible War. This award-winning documentary, features interviews with veterans who recount the events surrounding their assaults. Their stories show many common themes, such as the lack of recourse to an impartial justice system, reprisals against survivors instead of against perpetrators, the absence of adequate emotional and physical care for survivors, the unhindered advancement of perpetrators' careers, and the forced expulsion of survivors from the service.

Where AND Stands:

Stop the Military Sexual Assault Epidemic!


Strip COs’ Ability to Prosecute Sexual Assault

AND Calls for Action Now on

Combat Exclusion Implementation,

Military Sexual Assault Epidemic


Shape up or get out!- Aussie General

The Invisible War is available on DVD and/or download Netflix, Amazon and most places where videos are sold.

The Invisible War is available on DVD and/or download Netflix, Amazon and most places where videos are sold.

Adm. Michelle Howard Becomes

First Four-star Woman in Navy History

The ceremony included a bit of comedy, but there was no denying the significance: For the first time in its history, the Navy promoted a woman on Tuesday to become a four-star admiral.

Surrounded by friends, family and peers, Adm. Michelle J. Howard was promoted to her new rank at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. She’ll take over as the vice chief of naval operations, the No. 2 officer in the service. She is not only the first woman to hold the job, but the first African-American.

It’s the latest achievement for Howard, who previously was the first African-American woman to serve as a three-star officer in the U.S. military and command a U.S. Navy ship. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said her promotion is a “representation of how far we have come, and how far she has helped bring us.”

“She is also a great example of how much we as a nation and a Navy lose if we put artificial barriers in,” Mabus told a crowd of about 150 people. “If we don’t judge people based on their ability, based on their capability. I hope I have always been passionate about that, but I know the intensity has increased since I am the father of three daughters, and I refuse to believe that there are any ceilings for them, glass or otherwise. That they can get to wherever their abilities can take them. And with that, they and countless others in the Navy now have a wonderful role model in Michelle Howard.”

With that said, Mabus added that “there is no news here today,” because the Navy picked the best officer, Howard, for her new job.

Howard is perhaps best known for leading Task Force 151, which oversaw counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. After Somali pirates attacked the cargo ship MV Maersk Alabama and captured its top officer, Capt. Richard Phillips, in April 2009, she devised a plan with others to get him back, dispatching the USS Bainbridge, a destroyer, to help. Navy SEAL snipers eventually opened fire on a small lifeboat carrying Phillips and three pirates, killing the bandits and freeing him.

After being promoted, Howard told those assembled that when she called to order her new four-star shoulder boards, she was told they did not exist. A special contract was devised to buy some, “and you folks are seeing the first set,” she said to cheers.

The Army and Air Force each have named four-star female officers in the past. The first one in the military, Army Gen. Ann Dunwoody, retired in 2012, after serving as a four-star general for nearly four years.

Howard said after the ceremony that the 1993 decision to allow women to serve on combatant ships and fly fighter jets remains one of the biggest for the Navy.

“I’m just very proud of our service,” she said. She acknowledged the ongoing debate about where women should serve in the military’s ground combat units, but said that each of the services is “their own breed.” She did take a position on where female sailors should serve in those ground units.

At one point Tuesday, Mabus struggled to put Howard’s new four-star shoulder boards on her uniform. With good nature, however, he refused to give up, drawing laughter from the crowd. In her remarks on stage, Howard joked about it.

“It is a remarkable sign of leadership,” she said, “to be persistent in your goals and to achieve them.” —Washington Post.


Now and then:  Navy Secretary Ray Mabus (L) struggles to put Adm. Michelle J. Howard’s new four-star shoulder boards on her uniform as her husband, Wayne Cowles lends a hand; then-Rear Admiral Howard with AND’s Brig. Gen. Pat Foote, USA (Ret), and WREI’s Capt. Lory Manning, USN (Ret), at the 2011 AND/WREI conference on the status of military women.

Summer 2014 Advocate

Now Available Online

The Summer 2014 Edition of the Alliance for National Defense Advocate is now available online.


Please click on the link below to download your copy: