Annamarie Fosmire, like many children in military families, had a nomadic childhood. She, her mother and her father moved from base to base for her father’s career as a military police officer. She lived in Germany, Austria, Texas, Michigan and Virginia just to name a few places. Her childhood left her with more than a few stamps on her passport though. Her father instilled in her a sense of discipline and responsibility. Fosmire said growing up with military values gave her an advantage when she joined the Army, but being a woman in the military was still difficult.
Q: Are there challenges to being a woman in the military?
A: I would say yes. You have to understand you’re going into a situation where it’s mostly men. It’s geared towards men. As a woman you have to work harder. You have to take everything with grain of salt. You have to be more respectful. You have to show you’re disciplined. You have to be strong and show you’re not afraid. You can’t let things hold you back. It’s very physically and emotionally demanding. You can’t be a cry baby. You can’t be wimpy. You have to be strong of character.
Q Why do you think that it is important for women to serve in the military?
A When a woman goes into the military she brings another viewpoint to the table. It’s adding another piece of the puzzle. Women have that inclination to go the extra distance, to do whatever it takes to get the job done, because we have service engrained in us.
Q What do you think is the greatest challenge facing women in the military today?
A The same thing that every woman faces in the workforce: balancing work and family responsibilities. Albeit, it’s different for a female soldier when one is called on full-time active duty and subject to deployment or temporary duty assignments.
Also how female soldiers present themselves at all times must be in the forefront of their minds – whether in uniform or civilian clothing – proper attire for the occasion, proper attitude. A female soldier has to go the extra mile when it comes to her job. She has to be more aware of her surroundings at all times in the workplace, at home and when she goes out with friends. Period. There’s no room for a momentary error of judgment because it will lead to a career-ender for sure.
That’s a lot of stress that female soldiers endure that men don’t normally even have to consider when deciding to serve in the United States military.
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Q: What did you learn from your military service?
A: I’ve had the blessing of being exposed to many nationalities and different foods. I’m not afraid to try something new. There’s not too much that scares me, other than ignorant people. I have pride in myself and more confidence in myself because what I’ve experienced.
Q: What was your favorite part of your job?
A: I enjoyed meeting the new officers in the engineer officer basic course. I enjoyed sending them on their way. It was fun meeting a lot of good people and having new blood coming in. It was fun seeing their excitement and knowing that they were going to do good work.
Q: What does Memorial Day mean for you?
A: It’s about remembering those who have gone before us, who’ve given the ultimate sacrifice. It’s not just the American soldier. It’s the firefighter, the correction officer, the police, the nurses, the doctors and EMTs who are out there every day. Who die in the line of duty, giving their lives for the community, that’s who I think about.