Artists That Inspire: Jessica Harrison

It was Jessica's enamel figurines that caught my eye. Her beautiful statues remind me of the women that sit in my grandmother's glass cabinet except with a glorious twist...

                                                                           Image credit: Jessica Harrison/

These enamel figurines have ink on them!

The reason I love these so much is because they put a great modern day component onto something unexpected. Usually, the un-inked versions are sold in Hallmark stores and I always fantasize that these are the kind of things I would get people when I go to their weddings... or maybe I would buy for my wedding cake topper? Now that I know these exist though, I'll have to reconsider.

These are especially excellent because when I read articles about those considering tattoos, I see a lot of blogs and internet comments considering how tattoo placement will effect them on their wedding day.

I say that should not matter! If you want a tattoo on your back a wedding should be when you get to show it off not something you have to cover.

You can check out Jessica's work here.

Women in RTAC and Field Artillery

My future is for the most part, pretty clear. I was able to branch my first choice for the US Army and will be an active duty Field Artillery officer.

While I do get a very positive reaction to branching FA, I always have to field the question of if it was my first choice. The conversation then leads to discussing how many females were 'forced' to branch FA for year set '15.

It is unfortunate that women must be ‘forced’ to fill slots that did not want it but I think it is important that the Army does this. There is a stigma with combat arms even for males. In my experience, those that want infantry are considered the ‘tough guys’ who want to run around in the woods. The same goes for females in Field Artillery. By placing more females into this branch, younger generations can see that it is not such a big deal to branch FA and can thus imagine themselves doing it even if they are not the stereotypical tough combat arms female.

That being said, I am still confused about where women stand in today’s military.

Just because Field Artillery is trying to integrate women still leads the questions about what is the Army doing next.

I think it is great that we are having females go through different pre-ranger schools such as the recent news that 5 females have completed Ranger Training Assessment Course (RTAC). It is just a testament that if the Army is gender blind and sets the standard, any Soldier should be given a chance to meet that standard.

I do not think anyone in favor of seeing the combat role increased for women is saying we should lower the standard for females.

What is not being talked about it that this is just an experiment and that these RTAC courses might not include women when ‘testing’ is over.

The verbiage for combat arms inclusion of females is still grey:

...the Pentagon ordered the services to open ground combat fields to women by 2016. Services can still request a waiver if they want to exclude women from any occupational field. -USA Today

Also, for Army ROTC duty station selection, it should be noted that females such as myself branching field artillery are restricted to what posts we can pick. Currently, I can only choose between nine posts compared to my male counterparts who can pick between 16 different posts. Some of the posts I could not pick were Alaska, Hawaii, and Campbell.