Alicia “Cissy” Rucker, the director of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, will speak Saturday, March 23, at 1pm about the current state of women in the United States military. Rucker spent thirty-three years in the Arkansas National Guard, retiring with the rank of colonel. Her assigned duties included Airfield Commander, Surface Maintenance Manager, Maintenance Manager and State Public Affairs Officer.
Rucker is a member of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Committee, as well the Women’s International Helicopter Pilots Association. Prior to her appointment to Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, Rucker served as the administrator of the Arkansas Career Training Institute.
The program will commemorate “National Women’s History Month,” celebrated each March in the United States. The 2013 theme,Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination, honors generations of women who throughout American history have used their intelligence, imagination, sense of wonder, and tenacity to make extraordinary contributions.
Only a few weeks ago, the Pentagon officially lifted the ban on women in combat, but women have served this country in combat roles for years. During the American Revolution, Mary Corbin worked a cannon in combat and was awarded a soldiers pension by the Continental Congress for her service – although she only received half pension because of her gender. In every war this country has fought, women have been exposed to the same hardships and risk for personal injury or death as male soldiers, but it is only now that women can officially serve in combat.
Colonel Rucker will speak about her experiences as a female soldier, and on her current duties as the Director for the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs. Last year, Rucker became the first woman inducted into the Arkansas Military Academy Hall of Fame. The event begins at 1:00 p.m. and is free to the public.
The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History relates the military heritage of Arkansas and its citizens to a diverse and widespread audience. Located in the historic Arsenal Building in MacArthur Park–one of Central Arkansas’s oldest surviving structures and the birthplace of one of this country’s foremost military heroes–the museum collects, preserves, and interprets our state’s rich military past from its territorial period to the present.