FORT LEE, Va. – There’s a new G.I. Jane in town, and she’s wearing serious combat gear and armed with a loaded M4 rifle. She’s also made of bronze. She is "Lt. FAWMA," the first statue commissioned to recognize the service of Army women that’s located on an Army post, unveiled just in time for Veterans Day.
The U.S. Army Women's Museum unveiled her Nov. 6.
FAWMA is an acronym for the Friends of the Army Women's Museum Association, the non-profit organization that supports the museum through continued contributions. Lt. FAWMA represents women from the Army's active duty ranks, and citizen soldiers of the National Guard and Army Reserve.
The statue was placed in front of the museum, set off from the building, in the hope that it would draw more visitors. A crowd of Fort Lee soldiers, veterans from all posts, military and museum officials, gathered for the unveiling.
Female officers from the post also dressed in the clothing of military women in every era of American history. The 16 officers stood at attention in order of period. Their garments ranged from a skirt and mob cap, to the MultiCam uniforms of today.
The full-size statue is the only one recognizing the service of Army women located on an Army post. In honor of her predecessors, over 200 personalized bricks honoring the service of Army men and women surround FAWMA's base.
The location of the statue at Fort Lee is also significant because the post was the home of the first regular Women's Army Corps Training Center and School from 1948 to 1954. In recognition of the significance of Fort Lee in women's Army history, the U.S. Women's Army Museum was opened on the post in May 2001. The museum was originally located at Fort McClellan, Ala., and opened in May 1955 as the Women's Army Corps Museum.