Interview Bio’s

Guadalupe Alexander

Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army

Staff Sergeant Guadalupe Alexander was assigned to Combined Arms Support Command and served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, where she was involved in numerous firefights with the enemy.

Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour

Former Captain, U.S. Marine Corps

Marine Captain Vernice Armour became the first African-American female combat helicopter pilot and served two tours piloting a AH-1W Super Cobra in Iraq. The decorated veteran now works as a motivational speaker, consultant and coach.

Francoise Bonnell, Ph.D

Director, U.S. Army Women’s Museum
Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army, (Ret)

Dr. Francoise Bonnell is the director of the U.S. Army Women’s Museum at Fort Lee, Virginia and a recognized authority in women’s military history.

Linda Bray

Former Captain, U.S. Army

Captain Linda Bray became the first woman to lead U.S. troops in battle during the invasion of Panama while commanding the 988th Military Police Company. She ordered her assault team to fire on soldiers of the Panamanian Defense Forces who refused to surrender.

Laura Brown

Sergeant Major, U.S. Marine Corps

Sgt. Major Laura Brown is the first female Base Sergeant Major in the history of Quantico Marine Corps base. She also served in Iraq, supporting combat troops, and was responsible for the Fallen Angels. She has demonstrated exemplary leadership skills throughout her nearly 30-year career.

Rhonda Cornum, Ph.D., M.D.

Brigadier General, U.S. Army, (Ret)

Brigadier General Rhonda Cornum, Ph.D, MD, served as a flight surgeon during the Persian Gulf War. While performing a search and rescue mission for a downed Air Force F-16 pilot, her Blackhawk helicopter was brought down by enemy fire. She was shot in the back, had both of her arms broken and was captured was by Iraqi forces.

Dorothy Dempsey

Former Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Coast Guard,

Boatswain’s Mate First Class Dororthy Dempsey served in the United States Coast Guard Women’s Resereve (SPARS) during World War II. She was responsible for security at Boston Harbor and helped pave the way for future women in the armed services.

Tammy Duckworth

Congresswoman, Illinois 8th District
Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army Reserve

Lt. Colonel Tammy Duckworth suffered severe combat wounds and lost both of her legs while serving in Iraq, when the U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting was hit by a rocket propelled grenade. She was recently elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and formerly served as Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Ann Dunwoody

General, U.S. Army, (Ret)

General Ann E. Dunwoody is the first woman to serve as a four-star general in U.S. Military history. A brilliant logistician, she led Army Material Command, one of the Army’s largest commands, overseeing a workforce of 69,000 across all 50 states and 145 countries.

Steve Ellis

Father

Mr. Steve Ellis is the father of Army Corporal Jessica Ellis, a combat medic serving in Iraq, who was killed in action when an explosively formed projectile hit the armored vehicle she was riding in.

Marsha Four

Former 1st Lt., U.S. Army Nurse Corps

First Lieutenant Marsha Four served for three years as a U.S. Army Nurse during the Vietnam War. She was stationed on the front lines in a critical care unit and was awarded the Bronze Star. She has served as the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Leigh Ann Hester

Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army

Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester served in the Army National Guard and became the first woman to receive the Silver Star for valor since World War II. While assigned to a military police unit protecting supply lines Iraq, the convoy she was escorting was attacked by dozens of insurgents. She ran toward the enemy trench line and engaged in a 45-minute firefight, saving the lives of the soldiers in her unit.

Michelle Howard

Admiral, U.S. Navy

Admiral Michelle Howard is currently the highest ranking woman in the U.S. Armed Forces. She was in charge of the task force that rescued the captain of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama who had been captured by Somali pirates. She now serves as deputy CNO for operations, plans and strategy at the Pentagon.

Denise Jelinski-Hall

Chief Master Sergeant, National Guard Bureau, (Ret)

Prior to her retirement, Chief Master Sergeant Denise M. Jelinski-Hall was the Senior Enlisted Leader to the Chief National Guard Bureau. She was responsible for advising senior leadership on all matters related to enlisted personnel.

Beverly Kelley

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, (Ret)

Captain Beverly Kelley became the first woman to command a military vessel when she was assigned to the Coast Guard cutter USCGC Cape Newhagen. Though she initially encountered resistance from skeptical crewmembers, she went on to have a 30-year career as one of the Coast Guard’s most respected officers.

Nicole Malachowski

Lt. Colonel, U.S. Air Force

Lieutenant Colonel Nicole Malachowski was the first female pilot to fly with the Thunderbirds. As a combat pilot, flew 26 missions in an F-15, providing air-to-ground cover for troops fighting in Iraq. She recently commanded the 333d Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina.

Mildred Manning

Former 1st Lt. U.S. Army Nurse Corps.

Mildred Manning served as a nurse during World War II. While stationed in Corregidor, she and seventy-six other nurses were captured by the Japanese and sent to the Santa Tomas Internment Camp in Manila. She and the other nurses ministered to the ill and wounded and earned the nickname “Angels of Bataan and Corregidor.” She remained a POW for three years.

Carol Mutter

Lt. General, U.S. Marine Corps, (Ret)

Lt. General Carol A. Mutter is the first woman to be promoted to the rank of three-star general in the history of the United States military. She was a tireless advocate for women in the Marine Corps and served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Reserve Affairs at Marine headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Jessica Myers

Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy

Chief Operations Specialist Jessica Myers is an 18-year Navy veteran who has served at sea and on the ground in Kuwait. She is an expert in the history of women in the Navy and currently serves as the Senior Enlisted Advisor for the Navy Office of Women’s Policy.

Elizabeth Norman, Ph.D.

Historian, Teacher and Author

Elizabeth Norman is a historian, teacher and best-selling author who has spent her career telling the stories of nurses and female soldiers during wartime. She is the author of Women in War: the Story of Fifty Nurses Who Served in Vietnam and We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of American Nurses Trapped on Bataan by the Japanese.

Deanie Parrish

Women’s Airforce Service Pilots

Deannie Parish served her country as a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II. She logged hundreds of hours of flight time in numerous combat aircraft and made it her mission to convince Congress to award the long-neglected WASP the Congressional Gold Medal. In 2010, she accepted that prestigious medal on behalf of all WASP.

Cynthia Pritchett

Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army, (Ret)

Command Sergeant Major Cynthia Pritchett is the longest serving command major in the army. She was responsible for 27,000 coalition forces in Afghanistan. Her military career spanned 36 years, most of it spent training soldiers and as an advisor to general and flag officers.

Jackey Smith

Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy

Chief Mass Communications Specialist Jackey Smith served as a combat journalist in Iraq and was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery. When a sniper opened fire during a routine mission, she dropped her camera, grabbed her rifle and engaged in a ferocious firefight that saved the lives of her companions.

Irene Trowell-Harris, R.N., Ed.D.

Director of the VA Center for Women Veterans
Major General, U.S. Air Force, (Ret)

Major General Irene Trowell-Harris is the Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Women Veterans and the primary advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on programs and issues related to women veterans. Dr. Trowell-Harris served 38 years in the U.S. Air Force/Air National Guard. She was the first African-American female in the history of the National Guard to be promoted to general officer.

Wilma L. Vaught

President, WIMSA
Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force, (Ret)

Brigadier General Wilma Vaught is President of the Board of Directors of the Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation. She is one of the most decorated women in U.S. military history. She served as Chairperson of the NATO Women in the Allied Forces Committee and was the senior woman military representative to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services.

Latianna Wilson

Former Sergeant, U.S. Army

Sergeant Latianna Wilson is a Wounded Warrior who served two tours of duty in Iraq. She is a tireless and outspoken advocate for the rights of wounded veterans and those suffering from PTSD.