Ms. Lynn Simpson engages with Sailors after giving a keynote speech for the Hawaii Joint Forces Diversity Committee’s observance of Women’s Equality Day. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Brian M. Wilbur)

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - Male and female service members and civilians from the Navy and Air Force gathered for the Hawaii Joint Forces Diversity Committee’s observance of Women’s Equality Day at Hickam Theater on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Aug. 26.

Lynn Simpson, director of Total Fleet Forces Manpower and Personnel at U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) was the keynote speaker for the event.

“We all owe a great debt of gratitude for the countless acts and perseverance for so many that paved the way for women’s equality,” said Ms. Simpson. “In many ways we’re celebrating women doing things that many used to say shouldn’t or couldn’t be done. When given the chance, women have risen to the occasion and excelled.”

Ms. Simpson went on to talk about some of the prominent women in military history and how far the Armed Forces have come with women’s equality.

“Women now fly combat aircraft, serve on submarines and in infantry units and command at every level up to the 4-star rank,” said Ms. Simpson. “Today a cohort of generals and admirals have already set a high standard for the over 200,000 woman in the Unites States Armed Forces who follow in their footsteps.”

Operations Specialist 1st Class Bryant Gause, a member of PACFLT’s Diversity Committee, spent the morning helping get Hickam Theater ready for the event. He and other volunteers touched on the importance of a man’s roll in women’s equality.

“Being a man, husband and father I find it is important for me to be involved in the celebration of women’s equality,” said Gause. “As a husband, I want to see my wife have all the opportunities that she wants and deserves. As a father, I want to set a good example for my boys so that they see their mom and other women being treated as equals.”

Today’s event helped celebrate the advancement of women’s equality in all facets of life since the passing of the 19th Amendment in 1919 and was just one of many events conducted around Pearl Harbor this week.