Icewomen in action: celebrating Women's History Month part four
By Maj. Victoria Williams, 353rd Combat Training Squadron
/ Published March 31, 2015
EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --
Editor's note: This is part of a series celebrating Women's History Month.
I'm Maj. Victoria Williams, the 354th Fighter Wing senior intelligence officer and the 353rd Combat Training Squadron intelligence division chief.
My job is to understand our adversaries in order to provide timely, tailored intelligence information to decision makers. I wear two different hats here at Eielson. In the role of the wing's senior intelligence officer, I advise the wing commander and senior leaders on any threats to our forces at home or deployed and serve as the functional manager for all intelligence professionals assigned to the wing. My other hat is serving as the 353rd Combat Training Squadron intelligence division chief, in which my division builds RED FLAG-Alaska training scenarios that deliver realistic combat training to coalition air and ground forces.
I have created a bucket list of things I would like to do professionally and personally. I have not figured out what I want to be when I grow up, but a couple of my professional aspirations are to become a squadron commander and earn a PhD in History. Personally, I would like to see AC/DC in concert, take in the views of the Taj Mahal with my own eyes and walk along the Great Wall of China.
If I can steal away a moment to myself, you'll probably find me with a book or testing my culinary skills by trying a new recipe. During warmer months, I spend my time in the garden and look forward to planting vegetables this spring.
Before joining the Air Force, I thought I wanted to join the Foreign Service, but I lacked job experience. My family has served in the armed forces all the way back to the Civil War and, with family roots from Virginia, we fought on both sides. The military seemed like a logical choice for me to gain experience. As it turns out, I love the challenge of being an intelligence analyst and have never left.
I never think of myself as a woman in the military. I'm just a military member who happens to be a woman. When I went through survival school, one of the men in my group expressed his concerns about being at a disadvantage since I was "just a girl." I did not see being "just a girl" as a disadvantage, instead I decided if I'm going to do something, I will.
The first women in the military had to overcome real barriers. Most people didn't believe that women had the capacity, physical or mental, for military service. Thankfully those barriers are largely gone today.