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The SEC welcomed Gen. Flora D. Darpino as the keynote speaker for a Women’s History Month celebration on Thursday, March 8, at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, DC. The event, hosted by the SEC’s Women’s Committee, Veterans Committee and the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, was also webcast to the agency’s regional offices.

We have a duty to never backslide. We always have to be diligent when it comes to making sure diversity continues to grow because it’s so easy to fall back.

Gen. Flora D. Darpino

Gen. Darpino is a retired, three-star U.S. Army general who was the 39th judge advocate general of the Army—the first-ever woman to hold this position since the judge advocate general office was created in 1775.

This year’s Women’s History Month theme is “Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.” The theme honors women who have shaped America’s history and its future through tireless commitment to ending discrimination against women and girls.

“We have a duty to never backslide,” said Darpino. “We always have to be diligent when it comes to making sure diversity continues to grow because it’s so easy to fall back.”

Throughout her career, Gen. Darpino has been a trailblazer and role model for young women in the Army JAG Corps. For example, in 1995, Gen. Darpino asked for an assignment as the chief of administrative law in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). There she learned that, because she was a woman, she could get a waiver so she would not have to complete the rigorous air assault course required to earn her assault wings since the course was built for men and people who were taller. Gen. Darpino ignored the waiver, accepted the challenge, completed the obstacle course and earned her wings.

The SEC was honored to host Gen. Darpino, whose career and leadership accomplishments inspire all of us at the SEC.