Women At The Helm

photo by Richard Termine
Jen Hogg: Co-founder, Service Women’s Action Network Shortly before co-founding Service Women’s Actions Network (SWAN), Jen Hogg was a Sergeant, 63Y track mechanic and HEMTT tow truck operator in the New York Army National Guard. “Although I knew about ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ when I enlisted, there was no way to prepare for what it felt like when I was activated on 9/11. DADT wasn’t a sacrifice I shared with my fellow service members; it was an incredibly isolating slap in the face,” she admits. Hogg and her SWAN co-founder, former Marine Captain Anu Bhagwati, felt an urgent need to create an organization that could address military policy and federal legislation. “We make the connections that often get overlooked. DADT had a disproportionate impact on women, specifically women of color. Both men and women [in the military] have reported their rapist used DADT to blackmail them into silence. Because SWAN also focuses on rape, sexual assault and harassment in the military, we are in a unique position to monitor the post-DADT environment.” Hogg’s vision has led to overwhelming success in engaging senators and representatives on these issues, as well as in helping individual veterans and service members through a peer support helpline. “Some of the urgent needs of veterans and service members are ignored when they are seen as ‘women’s issues’ and not military issues, or vice versa,” Hogg says. “It’s rewarding to know I am part of changing that.”
Free Life Campaign 10/27