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Archive for the ‘For the Ladies’ Category

Sword Athena Drives Change in Maternity Uniform Accessibility

Wednesday, December 8th, 2021


Sword Athena is making strides toward greater accessibility to maternity uniforms for expectant Airmen across Air Combat Command.

Sword Athena is designed to identify, tackle and present solutions to female and family-centric barriers to readiness using crowd-sourced topics and a Mission Area Working Group (MAWG) model. During the outbrief to Gen. Mark D. Kelly, ACC commander, in May, they identified several discrepancies on the availability of maternity uniforms at ACC bases and ways the online purchasing could be improved.

In response, Sword Athena partnered with Army and Air Force Exchange Services executives to increase availability of maternity uniforms in stores and sizing guides online. Before these updates, expectant Airmen found it difficult to purchase the appropriate sized uniforms to wear during their pregnancies, often having to resort to alternative methods of acquisition and incurring extra costs.

“A lot of big bases have large military clothing sales. It’s the smaller bases and those in remote locations where it’s particularly challenging to find these uniforms,” said Master Sgt. Aubrey Woodworth, 97th Intelligence Squadron assistant superintendent, Sword Athena member and mother of five. “Usually there is a network of ladies who find other ways to acquire these items, but it is hit or miss. If you’re the first Airmen in your unit who’s been pregnant in a while, it makes it even more challenging.”

Woodworth recounted a time, while stationed overseas, when a colleague had to ask a friend stateside to purchase four different sizes because there were none available to try on or purchase on base.

“Her friend sent her all four uniforms; she tried them on and mailed back the three that didn’t fit,” Woodworth said.

With the help of Col. John Thorne, then a senior officer on the Air Combat Commander’s staff who assisted in translating Sword Athena initiatives into actionable staff packages, the team reached out to Andrew Weaver, AAFES vice president for community outreach. Weaver welcomed the feedback.

Weaver and the AAFES military clothing sales team reviewed inventory of Operational Camouflage Pattern and Service Dress maternity uniforms at locations across the command. This review helped flag clothing sales locations without enough sizing options. “Some locations were joint bases where the exchanges were run by another branch, so their inventory was not populating on Air Force lists,” he said.

To expand the program, the AAFES team worked with the Air Force Materiel Command logistics directorate. AFMC is responsible for setting the limits on inventory available in military clothing stores because the Air Force covers the carrying cost of inventory.

“All ACC bases, except Creech (AFB), had one maternity OCP try-on uniform per size. The intention was for expectant Airmen to then order the uniform from the AAFES website. After our review and working with AFMC, AAFES secured approval to stock two sets of maternity OCP uniforms at Beale (AFB), Creech (AFB), Davis-Monthan (AFB), Moody (AFB), Offutt (AFB), and Seymour Johnson (AFB). All other ACC bases will have 10 sets per size,” he said.

The bases selected for the expanded inventory were locations that sold at least 50 maternity uniforms over the last year.

According to Weaver, the service dress maternity uniform program was also expanded to all ACC bases, which now have at least one size available for fitting. A size chart has also been added to their online listings making sizing easier from any location.

Woodworth is proud of the progress Sword Athena has made to reduce readiness barriers and is already thinking about the next steps.

She noted the importance of forming connections with other Airmen. “The support network is there. Too often we feel like our problems as women should not be discussed in the workplace. If you can overcome that fear and reach out to the master sergeant or the major you saw in maternity uniforms, you’ll find that network,” she said.

Sword Athena uses that network to drive change.

“Many of us were raised to only bring up a problem if we had a solution as well,” said Thorne, 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing vice commander. “Sword Athena has demonstrated that sharing problems across a large group provides the opportunity for Airmen of different backgrounds to share their experiences and construct an actionable solution. One of us doesn’t have all of the answers, but all of us together do.”

By Capt Laura Hayden, Air Combat Command Public Affairs

Sitka Women’s Fahrenheit Jacket

Thursday, October 28th, 2021

The other day I was perusing Sitka’s website after receiving a marketing email, when my wife peered over my shoulder and said, hey, what’s that?

I replied that it was a new jacket for women called the Fahrenheit. The reply came swiftly, “Sitka? You mean that Arrowhead stuff?” And I clarified that Sitka had been around for years and made some of the hunting clothing I had picked up on post-season sale at Dick’s over the years. After a bit of wrangling to get her to understand that Sitka was more than camouflage gear for hunting game and bad guys, she told me that she liked the look of the Fahrenheit.

It’s designed specifically for women and uses some of the best materials on the market for a day outdoors in cool conditions. The shell is GORE-TEX INFINIUM with WINDSTOPPER Technology paired with PrimaLoft insulation, mapped for moisture management with a down blend in the torso and fully synthetic insulation throughout the forearms.

She looked over the color options and prefers Black, but it’s also offered in Hawk (shown), Aegean Blue, and Waterfowl Marsh camouflage for the ladies who go hard in the paint and hunt for their food.

Sizes Small – XLarge (Operational colors also add XXL).

Shoot Like A Girl Continues Hunt Like A Girl Contest in Partnership with Beretta USA

Sunday, September 26th, 2021

ATHENS, Ala. – September 23, 2021 – Shoot Like A Girl has partnered with Beretta USA to host the Hunt Like A Girl™ Contest that will provide  one lucky winner the opportunity to participate in a guided waterfowl hunt in El Campo, Texas, November 15-18, 2021. This contest will give one entrant, who is new to hunting or who has never hunted before, the chance to experience the fall waterfowl season for the first time with an all-female team from Shoot Like A Girl and Beretta. The winner will also receive a gear prize pack from the hunt sponsors. This experience is the third and final of the three hunts planned in partnership with Beretta in 2021.

“It is extremely exciting to team up with Beretta to gift a waterfowl hunt to a new hunter,” Karen Butler, Founder and President of Shoot Like A Girl, said. “This will be an amazing experience for one lucky winner to sit in a duck blind, watch the ducks work their way to the decoys, and see our Shoot Like A Girl dogs at work. We are looking forward to sharing the passion of Beretta and hunting with our winner.”

Contest Details

For the chance to win a hunt of a lifetime, entrants must complete the online entry form in its entirety and nominate either a friend or themselves for the grand prize by submitting a brief “essay” detailing the reason for the nomination within a 1000 character limit. Shoot Like A Girl and Beretta will read all submissions carefully. After the conclusion of the essay entries, the top ten (10) will be selected and voting will open for seven (7) days to select the winner. Entrants or nominees must be 21 years of age or older at the time of entry, must be a legal resident of the United States and have no criminal background (background checks will be conducted for grand-prize winner). The winner will also be required to sign a model release form, so that any photos or video from the hunt can be used online.

While everyone is encouraged to enter and all entries will be considered, Shoot Like A Girl and Beretta are specifically looking for an individual who is new to hunting or has never hunted before. The contest opens on September 23, 2021 and ends October 5, 2021 at 11:59 pm EST. Following the completion of the online essay entry portion, the top ten entrants will be contacted and the Top Ten voting opens online on the Shoot Like A Girl website on October 8 and runs through October 14, 2021. The winner is to be announced on October 15. Full terms and conditions are also available online.


While only one winner will receive a hunt packet from Shoot Like A Girl and Beretta, second place winner will receive a $200 promocode to spend on the Beretta e-store, a third place winner will receive a $100 promocode to spend on the Beretta e-store and remaining fourth through tenth place winners will receive a Shoot Like A Girl Hat co-branded with Beretta logo and Beretta Engraved Mug.

More information about Shoot Like A Girl’s mission, partners, resources, and event schedule is available at

Vertx Adds Three New Pieces to Women’s Lifestyle Collection

Monday, July 19th, 2021

Guardian Tank, Collins Henley and Trailhawk Jacket Give Women Options
Cincinnati, Ohio – Vertx®, a leading manufacturer of concealed carry apparel, packs and accessories, announced today the launch of the Guardian Tank, Collins Henley and Trailhawk Jacket. Vertx® is excited to provide all-season gear for women with the addition of the tank, henley and jacket to it’s existing Women’s Lifestyle Collection.  All three pieces are now available online at and in-store. Customers can find their nearest dealer using the Vertx® store locator at

“When we created this collection, we wanted to give women in our industry a wholistic solution,” said Angela Milligan, VP of Marketing at Vertx. “Women need clothing that can meet all their needs and that’s where Vertx® comes in.”

VTX7010 Guardian Tank in It’s Black
The Guardian Tank and Collins Henley are designed with women’s needs in mind, but don’t skimp on practical features. Like their counterparts in the men’s collection, the tank and henley both feature WeaponGuard™, a protective underlayer that guards the skin from chafing caused by gear worn at the waistline. Weaponguard™ is constructed using 37.5® Active Particle Technology that works with your natural microclimate to keep you comfortable and dry. And while the underlayer works to regulate temperature and stop holster burn, the outer layer prevents printing. The waist-skimming fit of both the tank and henley leaves just enough space to conceal your gear without looking baggy or oversized. The Guardian Tank is available for $46.99 MSRP in It’s Black and Kalamata and the Collins Henley is available for $49.99 MSRP in Warm Wine and Exhaust (Exhaust colorway coming soon).

VTX7020 Trailhawk Jacket in Nightshade
Like the tank and henley, the Trailhawk jacket has also been optimized for CCW. Concealed inside both front pockets of the jacket are zippered passthroughs that provide fast access to waist-worn gear whether it’s worn on the right or left side. For a quick re-load or additional on-body storage, the back of the jacket features an exterior pocket sized to fit AR magazines. The Trailhawk is fabricated with a water-resistant simulated wax finish, making it ideal for standalone wear or layering in colder climates. The Trailhawk Jacket is available for $119.99 MSRP in Grey Sage and Nightshade.

No matter the season, Vertx® provides the solutions women need to carry them through the day and beyond. To learn more about the Guardian Tank, Collins Henley, Trailhawk Jacket and future launches in the Vertx® Women’s Lifestyle Collection visit

Meet the Navy’s First Maternity Flight Suit

Thursday, July 8th, 2021

NORFOLK — On Mother’s Day, many Americans pause to celebrate and reflect on the mothers in their own lives. In the Navy, it’s also important to reflect on the sacrifices made and challenges faced by mothers who serve. At Commander, Naval Air Force Reserve (CNAFR), looking for opportunities to better support Sailors and their families is always a priority.

CNAFR was recently selected to participate in a preliminary rollout of a new maternity flight suit in a step to better support expecting mothers.

Lt. Cmdr. Jacqueline Nordan, CNAFR’s mobilization program manager received the first Navy maternity flight suit earlier this year 

“The addition of this uniform item makes an immediate impact on women in the Navy,” said Nordan. “It shows that leadership is listening and is supportive in response to the issues that female aviators are raising.” 

Nordan explained that the adjustable side panels on the new flight suits provide not only more comfort, but also improve safety and allow female aircrew to maintain their professional appearance throughout their pregnancy. 

“Prior to the maternity flight suit, pregnant aircrew have generally collected larger sized flight suits and gone up through additional sizes throughout their pregnancy, potentially needing three to five additional flight suits,” said Nordan. “Wearing a larger-sized flight suit results in longer hems and sleeves, potentially presenting a safety hazard in the aircrew cleared to fly during pregnancy. Additionally, wearing clothing that is clearly too large for you presents a less professional appearance for daily business. Pregnant aircrew who are not flying are still conducting squadron business. They’re still instructing classes, working in simulators, giving briefings, and representing their organizations. It makes a big difference to be able to continue to represent ourselves professionally in a well-fitting uniform throughout a pregnancy.”

Nordan understands the impact this change will have on her fellow female aircrew’s experience while growing their families and she says she is grateful to be a part of the project. 

“I’m thrilled to participate in moving this initiative forward,” said Nordan. “The CNAFR supply and maintenance teams have put some hard work into determining how we could incorporate these uniforms into our current system, and they deserve all the credit. I get the easy job – I just put the uniform on in the morning and loosen the waist straps as the weeks go by.” 

In making seemingly small changes like these to address uniform and safety concerns of female aircrew, the Navy is also communicating a very important message to women who serve.

“These additions are important because they show that leadership supports the idea that having a career and having a family can be compatible,” said Nordan. “Being a dedicated Navy professional while building a family can be done. Moves like making a daily uniform item more wearable during pregnancy remove some of the small barriers that can build up and discourage women from going down that path.”

The Navy’s maternity flight suit program is still in development. Policy and instructions for obtaining the flight suit will be released as information becomes available.

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chelsea Milburn

Warrior West 21 – Vertx Women’s Apparel Line

Thursday, July 1st, 2021

Vertx has introduced a women’s Lifestyle collection designed for concealed carry, lifestyle, and duty wear, depending on the garment.

Items include jackets, shirts, pants and bags.

Vertx products are available for unit and agency orders from ADS, Inc.

USAF Clarifies Female Hair Standards

Friday, June 11th, 2021

Building on women’s hair updates announced in February 2021, beginning June 25 when hair is secured behind the head, the hair may extend six inches to the left and to the right and six inches protruding from the point where the hair is gathered.

For more information at

SIG SAUER Academy to Host Introduction to Pistol and PCC for Women with Team SIG’s Lena Miculek

Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

NEWINGTON, N.H., (May 12, 2021) – SIG SAUER Academy, the leading provider of the highest quality firearms instruction and tactical training in the world, is pleased to announce the addition of Introduction to Pistol and PCC for Females with Lena Miculek to the upcoming course schedule.

This course is a one-day women’s specific introductory course to pistol and pistol caliber carbine (PCC) taught by the top 3-Gun competitor, Team SIG’s Lena Miculek.  In this course, Lena will boil down the most crucial things she has learned as a female competitive shooter including experience, technique, and mindset.  The course will focus on building a solid foundation of pistol and PCC fundamentals and students will learn personalized shooting techniques to fit your body and play to your strengths, effective training and practice techniques at home and on the range, and proper gear setup. 

Lena Miculek is a third-generation professional competitive shooter and regarded as the top female 3-Gun competitor and PCC specialist in the world.  At the age of 17 Lena won her first World Champion Title and has since earned more than 80 major wins and 8 world titles in 5 shooting disciplines.  Lena is now focused on training primarily in PCC, teaches, and is actively working to introduce and increase female participation in the professional shooting sports.  She was recently named a “40 under 40” by SHOT Business magazine, earned the prestigious Gundies “Most Influential Female” award, and is the co-creator of the Miculek YouTube channel with over 1.2 million subscribers.

Introduction to Pistol and PCC for Women with Lena Miculek is being offered on Friday, June 28, 2021.  To register and review the course outline, or review the comprehensive course offering for SIG SAUER Academy visit