Meet the Women Standing Between Us and Nuclear War
Marie Claire finds women represent a 'disproportionately high number' of Air Force missileers.
As President Trump warns that “major, major conflict” with North Korea is possible, a new profile in Marie Claire delves deep below the Earth’s surface in the Western United States where a capsule, no bigger than a shipping container, is occupied 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Its inhabitants — an elite squad of Air Force officers, known as “missileers,” who manage and monitor America’s nuclear weapons — rotate through this schedule, waiting for a call they hope never comes.
“We defend the United States with combat-ready nuclear forces, and, on order, we’ll conduct global strike,” Colonel Cathy Barrington told Marie Claire.
These Women Are the Last Thing Standing Between You and Nuclear War, @marieclaire on @usairforce female missileers https://t.co/9OdbHA2New pic.twitter.com/seKLDOt093
— Lara Seligman (@laraseligman) September 11, 2017
Should it come, they are ready. Marie Claire notes that, although women tend to be underrepresented in the military, there are a “disproportionately high number” of women in the role of missileers. The Air Force has enough to schedule an all-female alert, and getting the job isn’t easy.
“As an American taxpayer, who do you want out there taking care of our nuclear weapons?” Barrington asked. “You want highly capable people who have the highest level of integrity.”
Captain Amber Moore, who has a six-month-old son, echoed these sentiments, saying that part of the job is keeping America’s adversaries on their toes.
“Every day we try to make our enemies ask themselves the question, Does the benefit of attacking the U.S. outweigh the cost? Because they know that we’re always prepared to fire back.”
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