Marine Corps Master Sgt. Thomas Draffen is promoted to master gunnery sergeant at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., April 1, 2015. Draffen was promoted by retired Master Gunnery Sgt. Michael Arnett, who was his drill instructor at boot camp. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Xzavior T. McNealMARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz., April 2, 2015 – Newly promoted Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Draffen stood at attention in front of the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 building here yesterday. His uniform’s collar lay bare for a moment before two pairs of hands deftly pinned in place the rank he has worked 20 years to achieve.
Behind him, friends and peers mirrored the air traffic controller’s tall stance. To his left, his wife, who he has been with since before his enlistment in 1994, secured one side of his collar. On his right, retired Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. Michael Arnett -- the drill instructor responsible for making Draffen into a Marine -- secured the other.
Air Force Senior Airman Julie Breault of the 97th Security Forces Squadron at Altus Air Force Base, Okla., is a 4th-generation service member, and she aspires to be the first female chief master sergeant of the Air Force. Breault said she chose security forces because she feels like she can make a difference as a defender. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Megan E. AcsALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla., April 1, 2015 – Air Force Senior Airman Julie Breault said the desire to serve in the military was instilled in her at a young age. “I wanted to be security forces. I know a lot of people go into the Air Force and get weeded into security forces, but I chose it because I feel like as security forces I can truly make a difference,” said Breault, who is a 4th-generation service member.
While the security forces career field has traditionally been male-oriented, Breault said she remains undeterred and unaffected by gender-role stereotypes.
Gender ‘Doesn’t Matter’ “Being in a career field that is primarily male-dominated feels relatively normal to me,” Breault said. “I understand women are outnumbered in security forces, but the guys do a really good job of treating me equally. When stuff hits the fan, it doesn’t matter [the] the gender of the person to the left or right of you. We’re defenders. That’s the label I’d prefer.” Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kevin Smith, Breault’s supervisor at the 97th Security Forces Squadron here, noted that her performance is exemplary and said she performs her duties just as well, if not better, than many of the males in the same career field.