September 16, 2020

US military draws a line: No more bias against pregnant soldiers

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

Journalist: Anna Mulrine Grobe

One day shortly after Lt. Col. Jessica Ruttenber went back to work as an Air Force pilot following the birth of her first child in 2011, the controls on her jet started malfunctioning – an in-flight emergency. Unable to safely land, “I had to go up really high and start trouble-shooting for hours.”

As the flight commander, she was well trained to solve complex problems in air. What was new was that back at home, she was breastfeeding and needed to pump regularly during the workday – an exigency she skipped during that flight.

Ultimately, she touched down safely, “and as I relaxed, the milk just started flowing out of me,” drenching the front of her flight suit, she says. There were emergency responders, as well as the squadron commander, standing by on the flight line to meet her. “Luckily, I had a flight jacket on.” She zipped it up, greeted her colleagues, finished some paperwork in the office, and went home.

Read the full story and more from the Christian Science Monitor.


  • Kayla M. Williams

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Military, Veterans, and Society Program

    Kayla M. Williams is a former Senior Fellow and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS)....