LANSING, Mich. — The modernization of the Grand Ledge Armory is nearly complete and construction to modernize the Grayling Army Airfield Armory is underway; both projects aim to improve the facilities for Michigan’s women service members.
This comes fewer than one month after Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Michigan’s fiscal year 2023 budget into law.
The budget authorizes $50 million in state funding and $50 million in federal funding to modernize current facilities used by the Michigan Army National Guard (MIARNG), to address existing gender inequities in the facilities provided to Michigan’s women service members.
This investment targets 33 facilities throughout the state.
Construction will start later this year on seven additional facilities: Albion Armory, Gladstone Armory, Ishpeming Armory, Kalamazoo Armory, Port Huron Armory, Traverse City Armory and Washtenaw Armory.
When these buildings were constructed originally, the structure and composition of the MIARNG force was primarily male.
Facilities like restrooms and showers were designed with men in mind.
Now, nearly 1,500 women serve in the MIARNG; however, very few facilities used for drill and other activities have been updated to reflect women’s needs.
“Michigan women are stepping up to join the MIARNG and serve our nation and we must make sure that our facilities meet their needs. By modernizing our facilities, we are showing new moms in uniform that we are serious about providing them comfortable, safe and private spaces for them to use. Every member of the MIARNG deserves access to the support and resources they need to carry out their mission and I will work with anyone to make investments that support our troops and new moms.”
This modernization project will provide necessary improvements not only for new moms, but also including new toilet and shower facilities.