Challenged at Warrior Leader Course (WLC)

I disappointed myself. Twice today.

I am currently in BLC (Basic Leader Course), formerly and more popularly known as WLC (Warrior Leader Course).
For those who aren’t familiar, it is usually a 4-week course that teaches E-4s and E-5s the basics in leadership, training, and war-fighting to better prepare us to be more proficient and competent noncommissioned officers.

Anyhow, today we gave presentations for our Oral History Brief evaluations. I am an avid follower of Army history when it comes to female pioneers. Therefore I was extremely excited to tell the class all about the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps that was established in 1942. It was organized so women could join the US Army in effort to contribute/participate in World War II. I had already read the biography of the WAAC’s first director, Oveta Culp Hobby – mainly because she was born here in Killeen, Texas so her legacy is very apparent to Fort Hooders – and I even have a Warrant Officer in my unit (now retired) who served in the WAAC. So to say the least, I was pretty amped. (Here is the PowerPoint if you want to view it: WAAC)

When my turn came to present my slides, I tensed up and got nervous and retarded. For what reason, I don’t know. It’s not like I am not capable of speaking in front of a classroom (college public speaking classes) and like I don’t have conversations daily with MSGs, SGMs, and LTCs at my job. On top of that, just before I came to BLC, I had given a brief for about an hour to my CSM, OIC, First Sergeants, and other company representatives about the importance of and functions of our Sponsorship program. Zero nervousness.

Bottom line: I am not afraid to speak in front of people, so it baffles me as to why I got anxious once I got in front of the class.

At the end of the day, I did leave the class with a little more knowledge than they had before on how women got started in the Army (we were limited to only 7 minutes maximum to present). But I wish I could have been more boastful about the corps I spoke of…because I am VERY proud of these brave ladies and honored to be serving after them.

Anywho, I quickly got over that as other classmates began to present and other learning events took place. But at the end of the day, our SGLs (Small Group Leaders in the ranks of SSG and SFC) came in and told us about the upcoming end-of-course challenges… YES!!! The moment I have been waiting for! Right?

So there are two challenges – there is the Commandant’s Challenge which is a set of tasks and a questionnaire (not multiple choice) and there is the Leadership Board where you stand before a board of your Student First Sergeant and other Student Platoon Leaders…

Yet, I suddenly began to doubt myself because of my lackluster performance during my Oral History Brief. I thought to myself, “If I couldn’t even present confidently in front of my peers in the classroom, I was sure they wouldn’t nominate me to attend this board.” Some of them did try to nudge me to raise my hand for it, but I chickened out. And I swear to you it wasn’t even three minutes later that I immediately regretted not raising my hand for the Leadership Board…

I had been babbling about this Leadership Board since the beginning of BLC!! I had already created flash cards for it since week one and had since been dabbling here and there in studying for it. What the heck was I thinking not volunteering for tribute! A few people mentioned it to me after the fact… “Hey Sergeant, I thought you said you were wanting to do that board.”


I am not proud of myself. I thought about it on my walk-of-shame from the NCOA barracks to my car in the parking lot. I am NOT the type of person to be nervous or doubt myself or be afraid of anything, especially not a board. Then I thought to myself how I had performed in my promotion board back in July of 2014. I must admit I did a terrible job that day (laughing aloud). But I was so darn confident in my closing remarks that they presented me with my P status anyhow. I really wish I would have just raised my hand for this Leadership Board. I would have been so much more proud of myself for jumping to it and failing it rather than getting scared at the last minute and letting my nervousness from earlier in the day deter me from going for it.

“It’s just a BOARD,” I keep telling myself. I really am beating myself up about it. I won’t stop doing so until BLC is over because I may be a tad bitter at graduation seeing the winner of the board get presented with their award like… “Gee, that could have been me up there.”

Oh, well. My next small goals for BLC will simply be to get 100s on my next few final evaluations which will earn me Commandant’s List for graduation (top 20% GPA). Also, it would be great to be chosen to be the next Student Platoon Sergeant or even the next Student First Sergeant. These are simple leadership positions that I notice a lot of people in my platoon don’t want but that I definitely wouldn’t mind having. I am capable of doing anything that is expected of me as an NCO.

I am capable of doing anything that is expected of me as an NCO.


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Posted by on September 22, 2015 in Army Life, Self-Coaching


Decided Not to Get Married

URBAN ROMANCE – I Changed My Mind: Why I Decided Not to Get Married

By Atiya Shrieves

I was over my close friend Bam Bam’s house about to have a conversation I’d had about a million times with numerous people in the last few months. I hadn’t seen my friend in over a year and a half because of her deployment. The last time we spoke was a few months earlier through email when I told her I was engaged so, needless to say, the face-to-face conversation we were having in her living room came as a bit of a shock to her.

“So, how are the wedding plans coming along?”
“Girl… the wedding is postponed, indefinitely.”
“WHAT!!!! What does that mean?”
“It means I am not getting married!”
“I am so sorry,” Bam lamented
“I’m not.”

I know, a bit harsh, right? But I wasn’t sorry. Let me explain. I’d had this same conversation for a few months now and I’ve been getting the same reaction. Friends, family, and strangers alike were sorry for “my loss,” but what they all failed to realize is it wasn’t a loss, at least not for me.

I called off the wedding. I decided that I no longer wanted to spend the rest of my life with the man I once wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I changed my mind. Therefore, I am not sorry. I am actually at peace. Why? Because I’d just avoided one of the biggest mistakes I could have ever made—marrying the wrong person.

When I was proposed to, I felt like I was on top of the world. What woman doesn’t want the man she loves, to ask her to spend the rest of their lives together? Of course I said the only proper thing to say: YES! And it was off to the races after that! I started making the guest list, looking at venues, picking my wedding party, and, of courses, trying on dresses. I was so excited, I actually bought my dress within a month of being engaged.

Once the euphoria of becoming the future Mrs. Fill-In-The-Blank wore off, reality set in. What was I getting myself into? Without bashing or being too transparent (as if I’m not already), this man and I had our fair share of problems and I’m being modest when I say that. I mean he was just anokay boyfriend, so what made me believe he was going to be a good husband. Was I being like those women on reality television reunion shows? You know the ones who say yes to their deadbeat celeb boyfriends, who feel the best time to get on one knee is after their side piece throws a chair at their main chick, in this case, me? My life wasn’t being played out on television, but I could certainly relate to drama.

My situation was more down than up. So why did I say yes? Was I stupid?  No, I was hopeful. I hoped that maybe being engaged would help us and magically make everything alright. Well it didn’t. It made things worse.

I was engaged to the okay boyfriend, now my  fiancé. And what did that mean? Just more of the same problems with a different title. I could not, I repeat, could not turn this man into the okay husband.

I made a list. It wasn’t your usual list of pros and cons. It was a list of things I wanted in my life, things that I liked, and things that really grind my gears. Then I asked myself a few questions: Does he add to any of these aspects of my life? Does he know any of these things about me? Do any of these things matter to him? The results were staggering. I realized one thing with this simple list and these simple questions. I was settling. I realized that these things only mattered to me. That he wasn’t really in tune to me and what I liked at all. I was about to make a huge mistake. I was about to marry someone who I was good for (because for me, all of these things mattered when it came to him), but who was not good for me. I realized that I did not exist in my relationship at all. I gave so much of myself that I barely knew who I was until I made that list. In fact, I now understood why he wanted to get married. Not because he loved me so much, but because I gave, and did so much to uplift him and I didn’t require much in return. Who wouldn’t want to keep getting the best while only giving the bare minimum?

My heart sank, the tears fell, and the hurt was piercing as more questions flooded my head. How could I not see this before I’d said yes? How could I let it get this far? How could I be so stupid? What was I going to tell all of my friends and family? What was I going to tell him? I asked that question of myself, God, and my bestie. How could I tell him that I no longer wanted to spend forever with him; that I realized I was settling? Walking down the aisle would only end in heartache for both of us and I knew that. I should’ve never said yes in the first place. There was no point in beating around the push. It wasn’t going to change how I felt and wasn’t going to change my mind.

It was hard. Very hard.  He didn’t give up easy. He fought tooth and nail against what I believed would be best, not only for me, but for the both of us, in the long run. The hard part was over… or so I thought. Imagine telling a bunch of people who already started planning for time off, telling family members on both sides who just love you two together, and calling venues telling them you are no longer interested because there isn’t going to be a wedding. Let’s not even get into that wedding dress that you just had to have!

The point of me sharing all of this is I want someone to take my story as a lesson—an example of what not to do when you know something isn’t right in your relationship. Saying yes to an engagement doesn’t mean you have to say yes to the marriage. We all hope that is what will happen, but sometimes you must take a step back and look at all the factors involved. Just because it feels good at that moment and you love that person doesn’t mean that marrying that person is the right thing to do. Never stay in a situation because you don’t want to hurt the other person or you are afraid of what other people are going to say (even on Facebook). We all make mistakes, but it’s not the mistake that matters, it’s how we fix that mistake and grow from it.

So I’m not going to say “I do” and get to have the wedding of my dreams, right now, but I do get to have peace of mind and the satisfaction in knowing I did the right thing. In the end, that is what matters the most. Oh, and I’ll wear my beautiful dress just because. Who knows? Maybe I’ll marry myself in it!

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Atiya is a mother of two who served eight years in the United States Navy. She has an A.A.S in Justice and is currently pursuing a degree in Nursing. Atiya is also writing her first novel.


SMA Dailey’s 7-Day Workout Plan Kicks Butt

ARMY TIMES – SMA’s 7-Day Workout Plan Will Kick Your Butt!

By Michelle Tan

sma2 Photo: Army Times

For Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey, PT time is special.

“That’s my sanctity time,” he said. “It’s my time to reflect on the day. You ever hear about artists who experience clarity when they’re painting or creating music or doing pottery? That’s PT for me. That’s my time of the day where nothing seems to be troubling. It’s my getaway.”

But Dailey, who was sworn in Jan. 30 as the Army’s top enlisted soldier, doesn’t just work out for fun. He views his three runs each week, along with a tough regimen of upper body and core strength-building exercises, as a critical part of his routine and life as a soldier — and he’s trying to spread that enthusiasm across the force.

“I just want soldiers out there doing good PT, working hard every day,” he said. “It’s critically important for them to be physically fit, not just as soldiers but for the rest of their lives. Extend your life. Do some physical fitness.”

Dailey has previously called to task leaders for allowing fitness standards to slide among their troops.

“One of the most important things that we do every day is typically one of the first things that we do each morning, that being physical fitness training,” Dailey wrote in a March 30 letter to the force. “Yet as I travel to various locations across the Army, I find fewer and fewer soldiers actually conducting physical training.”

Dailey said he knows it can be easier said than done, but physically fit soldiers are healthier over time, and they’re ready for any mission they might be called upon to do.

“There are a million things out there that will compete with that hour [of PT],” he said. “It’s the sacred hour, and you’ve got to preserve it.”

sma3 Photo: SFC Michael R. Zuke

The SMA workout

Dailey formed his PT routine over years of training and learning what works best for him. He noted that it’s not for everyone, and nor is he advocating for it to be.

The plan he strives to follow each week is made up of “things that I felt were keeping me in good physical fitness for what I needed to do for my mission as a soldier,” he said.

The regimen includes a lot of focus on upper body and core strength because of his job as an infantryman, Dailey said.

“It’s extremely difficult when you’re in combat when you have to pull yourself up a window or over a wall,” he said. “You’ve got to be prepared to do that.”

He also puts a keen focus on cardiovascular fitness.

“You need to have that burst of energy to sprint 100 yards, but you also have to be able to go the distance for 12- to 18-hour patrols,” he said.

Dailey’s last two-mile run took him a mere 11 minutes and 40 seconds, but he typically runs at least five to seven miles during PT, averaging between 7 and 7-1/2 minutes per mile. He also uses a lot of free weights, and he has a Bowflex at home, but Dailey said he likes to keep it simple.

“I like to use a lot of body weight to train,” he said. “It’s consistent because I’ve deployed a lot and it’s easy to do. You don’t have to have a fancy gym to stay in shape. You can do dips on the side of a wall. You can do dips on railings. You just need to look around, and there’s a gym everywhere.”

An important part of physical fitness is knowing your body and what you need it to do, Dailey said.

“Units need to design PT plans based on their mission, based on the physical capabilities of their soldiers,” he said. “This is my goal workout, but it shouldn’t be the thing everybody copies.”

Dailey always works out with one or more soldiers, sticking to a simple but tough PT plan. Here’s a look at his typical PT routine.

sma Photo: Army Times 


Five- to seven-mile run, outside, rain or shine.


He does four sets of the following combination of upper body and core exercises:

For the upper body: 10 reps of free weight dumbbell bench presses and dumbbell curls.

For the core: 100 crunches on an exercise ball, followed by 150 crunches on the ball or floor. He follows those up with two sets of 75 sit-ups.

After the four sets he he finishes with 15 tricep dips followed by bicep burnouts, where you run dumbbell curls as fast as you can until you reach muscle failure. The target is 30 reps on each side. He repeats this four times as well.


Five- to seven-mile run, outside, rain or shine.


A pull-up-pushup ladder and sit-ups.

This entails:

One pull-up followed by five pushups.

Two pull-ups followed by 10 pushups.

Three pull-ups followed by 15 pushups.

Four pull-ups followed by 20 pushups.

Five pull-ups followed by 25 pushups.

Six pull-ups followed by 30 pushups.

Seven pull-ups followed by 35 pushups.

Eight pull-ups followed by 40 pushups, followed by 100 sit-ups or crunches and 25 left oblique and 25 right oblique crunches.

Nine pull-ups followed by 45 pushups, followed by 100 sit-ups or crunches and 25 left oblique and 25 right oblique crunches.

Ten pull-ups followed by 50 pushups, followed by 100 sit-ups or crunches and 25 left oblique and 25 right oblique crunches.

Nine pull-ups followed by 100 sit-ups or crunches and 25 left oblique and 25 right oblique crunches.

Eight pull-ups followed by 90 sit-ups or crunches.

Seven pull-ups followed by 80 sit-ups or crunches.

Six pull-ups followed by 70 sit-ups or crunches.

Five pull-ups followed by 60 sit-ups or crunches.

Four pull-ups followed by 50 sit-ups or crunches.

Three pull-ups followed by 40 sit-ups or crunches.

Two pull-ups followed by 30 sit-ups or crunches.

One pull-up followed by 20 sit-ups or crunches.


Five- to seven-mile run, outside, rain or shine.




Dailey takes Sundays for personal PT. What he does on Sundays could tie into his overall fitness plan, or something recreational. This could include swimming, a long run, a bike ride or playing sports.

sma4 Photo: Mike Morones

Weight and nutrition

Dailey, who at 42 is the youngest soldier to serve as the sergeant major of the Army, has maxed out the Army’s PT test for almost his entire career.

An infantryman by trade, the 5-foot-9 Dailey tries to take care of himself, watching his weight and nutrition in tandem with his PT regimen. Dailey, who quit smoking cold turkey about 15 years ago, also tries to get six or seven hours of sleep each night, which sometimes can be difficult because of the demands of his job.

Dailey weighs himself every morning — he came in at 163 pounds after his morning run on April 17 — and he likes to stay between 162 and 167 pounds.

“I will tailor my diet that week for what I call my personal band of excellence,” Dailey said. “But you can’t starve yourself. That’s where diets fail all the time.”

Dailey also tries to stick to a low-carb, low-fat diet, “but I splurge, too,” he said.

“The reason why I can have a treat here and there is because I do run a lot,” Dailey said, laughing. “I’m not the best healthy eater in the world.”

Dailey and his wife try to eat fish two or three times a week, and they limit their red meat intake.

“And I try to never drink my calories,” he said. “Almost never in a week will I drink a calorie. It’s just a thing I’ve done my entire adult life.”

Dailey typically starts his day with hardboiled egg whites, and he’ll have chicken breast and a salad for lunch. Dinner is whatever his wife, Holly, has planned, he said.

“I’m a calorie counter and carb and fat counter, too,” he said. “You have to be, the older you get.”

His weakness, though, is pizza from one of his favorite restaurants in his hometown of Palmerton, Pennsylvania.

“I have this hometown pizza shop that my childhood taste buds refer back to all the time,” he said. “When family members come down, I make them bring frozen pizzas from that place.”

sma5 Photo: SFC Michael R. Zuke

‘A reason to get up’

Sometimes, it’s difficult to get motivated, Dailey admits.

“A lot of people might think, ‘you’re good at PT,'” he said. “But there’s no such thing. It takes work. It’s hard, hard work.”

During a recent trip to observe the Best Ranger Competition, Dailey and his team arrived late in the evening at Fort Benning, Georgia. But they went to the gym and worked out for two hours anyway, from 8 to 10 p.m., before waking up at 5 a.m. to run and do stair drills.

“That stuff’s important,” Dailey said. “Everybody gets tired, I understand that.”

For that reason alone, Dailey’s goal is to do PT every morning with at least one other soldier.

“Personally, you’re going to be tired, but if you always have a soldier you can’t let down, it gives you that extra boost to go outside and do PT,” he said. “You have a reason to get up, a reason to drive yourself out there.”

During his monthly visits to the Pre-Command Course, Dailey said he encourages soon-to-be battalion commanders and command sergeants major to PT with their soldiers.

“Whenever your unit’s PT time starts, if you’re not at your flag pole on your installations with your soldiers, leading from the front, you can assume your soldiers aren’t doing it,” Dailey said. “That’s all soldiers want. They want leaders out there leading soldiers.”

Doing tough, realistic PT as a unit also builds camaraderie, Dailey said.

“Sometimes the toughest, most austere environment brings organizations together,” he said. “I don’t mean for PT to be austere, but everybody feels good after a 5K run. There’s a lot of mental preparedness that this builds for the Army, too, so it’s not just physical wellbeing but mental wellbeing.”

Some of Dailey’s former soldiers had high praise for his PT prowess.

“He’ll out PT anyone,” a reader named Thaddeus Cruiser recently wrote on the Army Times Facebook page. “Used to show up on a run at Carson and run platoons into the ground. Legendary.”

As a brigade command sergeant major, Dailey would “join our company/platoon runs all the time,” Steven Brown, another reader, wrote.

“This dude is a PT monster,” Army Times reader Jake Brewer wrote. “He would come in the pool when I was on lifeguard detail and swim laps for a solid hour, hour and a half.”


Yoga: Training the Body and Mind

A few months ago, I began practicing yoga as both a physical and mental builder/stress-reliever. It amazes me how closely the activities of the body correlate with those of the mind. Both can be trained and what you feed them will determine their everyday function.

Now I’m not the type to randomly wake up one morning, throw on some leggings, snap into a tree pose or half-moon, and call myself a yogi just for the sake of likes from the pseudo-hippie community on Instagram. For a while I had read about its benefits and admired the strength of those who had been doing it for years. But I never considered actually getting into it myself. I underestimated the power of meditation.. of breathing.. of pushing through.. of SILENCE. Yoga allows you to quiet that internal conversation and focus solely on accomplishing a goal. Goals may consist of holding a difficult pose for five full breaths, finally touching your head with your toe in the King Pigeon, stretching your legs at a wider angle, enduring pain, becoming less anxious about the stresses in your life, etc. No matter the goal, your session leaves you feeling balanced, powerful, invincible, and most importantly ENERGETIC. Positive energy will exude from your mind and body and it will show in your interactions with others.

As stated earlier, mental training is just as important as physical training. Your body can be conditioned to build strength and resilience for better functioning. The same applies to your mind. The more you utilize certain areas of your brain (i.e. emotion, logic, creativity) in healthy ways, the more conditioned it will be to do so on its own, with less direct conscious work from you. Consistently feed yourself positive thoughts and eventually, your subconscious will be consumed with so much positivity that you’ll develop a lower tolerance for negativity. Yoga is most certainly a vehicle for this type of mental training. I’d like to still consider myself new to the practice. Honestly, right now I’m not too concerned with learning a lot of the concrete material like the names of the poses, meanings of the various hand signs, etc. I’m just focusing on the basics and strengthening myself for the next level. Progress is key. I’m hoping you join me in the journey.


-Jade L. Stewart of I am Jade Leilani



Burt of Burt’s Bees Dies at 80


Burt Shavitz, co-founder and namesake of natural personal care company Burt’s Bees, has passed away at 80.

“We remember him as a wild-bearded and free-spirited Maine man, a beekeeper, a wisecracker, a lover of golden retrievers…” the company said in a statement. “Above all, Burt was always Burt — an uncompromising individual of his own invention.”

Shavitz died of respiratory complications in Maine, and was surrounded by family and friends.

Burt’s Bees started by chance — Shavitz, a bearded beekeeper who sold honey from a roadside stand, pulled over one day in 1984 to pick up hitchhiker Roxanne Quimby. The two hit it off, and Quimby started making candles from Shavitz’s beeswax.

The pair made $200 at their first craft fair selling the candles, and within a year, pulled in $20,000, according to a company timeline. Soon, they started making all kinds of other products — featuring Shavitz’s face and beard on the labels — including Burt’s Bees’ iconic beeswax lip balm.

Burt’s Bees was sold for $1 billion to Clorox (CLX) in 2007.

The company remains one of the most recognizable natural care brands in the U.S.

Sophia Yan, CNN


The Cast of ‘OITNB’ Badass Feminists Off-Screen

By Nina Bahadur

The third season of “Orange Is The New Black” comes out on June 12, and we could not be more excited to spend a full weekend binge-watching it.

The Netflix drama, which follows the inmates of the fictional Litchfield Penitentiary, features an incredibly diverse set of characters and brings complex women’s stories to our screens. What makes it even better is that the actresses and actors on “OITNB” are just as dedicated to raising awareness for important issues off-screen.

The “OITNB” cast have spoken out about the importance of seeing different body types on screen, called for more mainstream television characters who aren’t young and white supported the LGBT community and pushed for criminal justice reform. Laverne Cox, who plays trans inmate Sophia Burset, even landed on the cover of Time under the powerful headline “The Transgender Tipping Point.”

These women (and a few good men) have used their rising stardom to advocate for equality, independence, and inclusion.

Here are 9 times “OITNB” cast members were badass feminists:

1. When Samira Wiley told The Guardian about her dedication to representing all women on-screen:

” I feel a responsibility to young girls who want to follow in our footsteps. I feel a responsibility to the prison community. I feel like when you get to a place where you’re more visible or where people point at you and say ‘Samira Wiley, what is she doing?’ you have a social responsibility in the world. I’m actually thankful for the amount of responsibility that has bee handed to me. I feel very honored.”

2. When Matt McGorry’s feminist Facebook post made us swoon:

” I believe I gender equality. Being a feminist is for both women AND men. I AM A FEMINISH. In for equality? Pass it on.”

3. When Dascha Polanco told VH1 about learning to love her body in spite of restrictive beauty standards:

“It’s time for us to really evaluate ourselves in the mirror and say, ‘This is OK. I can too bring out any quality. I can too be on the cover of any magazine, just the way I am.'”

4. When Danielle Brooks wrote a kickass, body-positive essay for Glamour:

“Ideally, I want to see all beauties, all shapes, all sizes, all skin tones, all backgrounds represented in my profession. Now that I am blessed to be that reflection I was once looking for, I’m making a promise to speak out for that little girl that I used to be. I might not have the power to change what media puts out there, or to single-handedly convince young girls like me that they should love themselves. But what I can do is start with me.”

5. When Lea DeLaria talked about why “OITNB” is important to views on

“[OITNB] is surreptitiously feminist, you know what I mean? We have a lot of women on our show of every shape and size and age. I think it’s something that young women can relate to. You don’t see that that much on television.”

6. When Selenis Leyva wrote an incredible blog post calling more awareness about the barriers transgender people face:

“I am not only a supporter of the LGBT community, I am a sister to a beautiful and kind young transgender woman. Suddenly, it became clear to me where my sadness was coming from. The reality is that most transgender people continue to struggle with acceptance. Most will not be celebrated and put on magazine covers. I am NOT by any means taking away from the importance and impact of what is happening in the transgender movement with the courageous stories being shared by Caitlyn and my smart, talented and yes, beautiful costar, Laverne Cox. I am simply sharing my story based on my life with a Latina transgender sister, my family and our continued struggles.”

7. When Uzo Aduba told NPT about owning her “unusual name” and challenging whitewashing:

“I grew up in a very small town in Massachusetts, and it goes without saying that there weren’t many Nigerian families in that town, and a lot of people couldn’t say Uzoamaka. I came home from school one day, and I said to my mother… ‘Mommy, can you call me Zoe?’ Without skipping a beat, she said, ‘If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky, and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, then they can learn to say Uzoamaka.’ And we never discussed it again.”

8. When Laverne Cox spoke to DAME about what feminism means to her:

“I think transwomen, and transpeople in general, show everyone that you can define what it means to be  man or woman on your own terms. A lot of what feminism is about is moving outside of roles and moving outside of expectations of who and what you’re supposed to be to live a more authentic life.”

9. When Lorraine Toussaint told IndieWire about the importance of helping non-white, not-so-young actresses smash the glass ceiling: 

“I love to work and shows like ‘Orange are breaking that glass ceiling for women. The lie that women are not marketable and are not marketable overseas — ‘Orange’ has blown that out of the water. So I think more than any other time, this is a really terrific time to be a woman of color over 50 in this business. The tides are changing and I’m going to certainly do my part to assist in that.”

We can’t wait to hear what else this amazing cast has to say. Slay, queens.


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Posted by on June 11, 2015 in Uncategorized


Lawmakers Want Clearer Army Breastfeeding Rules


House lawmakers want clearer rules on breastfeeding in the ranks, a few weeks after the issue of public nursing caused an uproar at an Idaho Air Force Base.

In an amendment to the House Armed Services Committee’s defense authorization bill draft, lawmakers required the Secretary of the Army to “develop a comprehensive policy regarding breastfeeding” for female soldiers that addresses the availability of facilities and allows for work breaks for pumping milk.

The measure — sponsored by Rep. Niki Tsongas, D-Mass. — also specifies that areas with “adequate privacy and cleanliness” for breastfeeding should include electrical outlets to allow use of breast pumps. “Restrooms should not be considered an appropriate location.”

The move comes just days after the commander of the 366th Fighter Wing at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho was forced to rescind a policy requiring mothers breastfeeding in public areas on base relocate to a private room, use a nursing cover or leave the premises.

The policy applied to civilians and off-duty civil service employees, but not to active-duty service members or on-duty civilian employees. But it caused a public uproar, and a promise from officials to look for ways to better accommodate those mothers.

The Army is the only of the four services not to have a specific, service-wide breastfeeding policy.

The authorization bill will have to survive months more of House and Senate debate and be signed by the president before the Army breastfeeding requirement would become law.

Leo Shane III

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