For the first time, the Army will dedicate a life-size statue of a female soldier carrying a weapon and wearing body armor that honors the contributions of female soldiers over the past two decades.
The modern female warrior statue will be introduced in a special ceremony Nov. 7 at the U.S. Army Women's Museum at Fort Lee, Va.
"The full-size statue is a first for the Army; it is the only statue located on an Army post recognizing the service of Army women," Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Alayne Conway said in an Army press release.
The statue is named Lt. FAWMA, an acronym for the Friends of the Army Women's Museum Association, the nonprofit organization which supports the museum through contributions, said Conway.
The dedication comes at a time when the all of the services are preparing plans to fully integrate females into infantry and other combat arms units. The Defense Department announced in 2013 the Army, Marine Corps, and Special Forces units would develop plans to open front line combat positions to women.
The fiberglass statue was designed to represent the women who have served in the Army for the past 10-20 years. It depicts a female soldier carrying a weapon and wearing body armor and other combat equipment that soldiers use during training and real-world deployments.
It represents both the active duty and citizen soldiers of the National Guard and Army Reserve.
Over 200 personalized bricks, honoring the service of Army women and military organizations, will surround the base of the outdoor statue. Kodiak Studios, Inc., of Brooklyn, N.Y., created the outdoor statue and consulted with the museum staff to ensure it was historically accurate, Conway said.
Brig. Gen. John E. O'Neill, the 52nd Quartermaster General, will host the 1 p.m. event where female soldiers and veterans of all ranks and eras are expected to attend, Conway said.