By Debbie Gregory.
Currently, the Armed Forces are in a great state of flux. Military career opportunities have never been more plentiful or accessible to women. Air Force Senior Airman Julie Breault has been lucky to experience that opportunity first-hand.
While the security forces career Breault has chosen is traditionally male-oriented, Breault said she remains undeterred and unaffected by gender-role stereotypes. She has been able to fulfill a desire to serve that was instilled in her at a young age.
“I wanted to be security forces. I know a lot of people go into the Air Force and get weeded into security forces, but I chose it because I feel like as security forces I can truly make a difference,” said Breault. She is carrying on a family tradition, being a 4th-generation service member.
Breault understands that she is in a male-dominated field, but says her male counterparts treat her equally.
“When stuff hits the fan, it doesn’t matter [the] the gender of the person to the left or right of you. We’re defenders. That’s the label I’d prefer.”
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kevin Smith, Breault’s supervisor at the 97th Security Forces Squadron said Breault performs her duties just as well, if not better, than many of the males in the same career field.
“I wish more airmen would try to emulate her. She does things the best way she can and learns how to do things properly so she doesn’t have to do them again,” Smith said of Breault’s duty performance. “She’s a very hard worker. She’s one of the best that I’ve had work for me.”
As for a career in the military, Breault says her decision was easy because she wants to be a strong role model when she has children. Breault also wants to break the stereotype that women can be recognized for their hard work, and not just because they’re female.
“Women should be able to get excited about their accomplishments without having to hear, ‘You got it because you’re a girl,” she said.
Breault described her experiences and expectations as promising and sees a bright future for herself in the Air Force. She joked that she plans on staying in the Air Force until she has to be wheeled out as an old lady.
Sgt. Smith also sees a bright future for her, saying she has the type of drive and motivation needed to become a chief.
“You don’t have to give her a task if she knows something needs to be done. She’ll just go ahead, take the lead, and knock it out. She’s top-notch.”
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Military Connection: Woman Succeeds in Security Forces: By Debbie Gregory