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United States Army

Service: US Army - World War II Veteran , Women's Army Auxiliary  Corp (WAAC), Women's Army Corp (WAC)

Length of Service: 1942 - 1945 

Rank: Staff Sargeant

Last Assignment: 6888th Central Postal Directory

Position: Postal Clerk

Current Status: Retired

Mrs. Essie passed away on December 25, 2012. She was a few days short of turning 98.  She served as one of the founders and mothers of the NABMW.  She served on the Organization Structure Committee and was the first Chairperson of the NABMW North-Central Region.  Mrs Essie believed in our motto "To Tell HerStory".  We all miss her  and will certainly keep her vision alive by telling our stories.

Click on Mrs. Woods photo to read her interview by the Library of Congress Veterans History Project

Doris Richardson

United States Army

US Army, U.S. Women Army Auxilary Corps, World War II Veteran


Service: United States Army,  Womans Army Auxilary Corps

Length of Service: 1943 -1945


Last Assignment: Fort Benning, Georgia

Founding Sister of the Black WAAC, WAC, Women in Service (Now  NABMW)

  • Enlisted as a WAAC - January 1943

  • WAAC Basic Training Center, Fort Des Moines, Iowa - March 1943

  • Became a WAC - August 1943, Assigned to Fort Benning, GA - Discharged December 1945

  • Worked Jacksonville, Fl, Rehabilitation Nursing Home, In 1953 Worked training at Mercy  Hospital

  • PTA Advocate for children of color - Worked as a Teacher's Assistant for first and second grade students. 

  • American Legion 1861, Westbury, NY - Redeemer Church, Old Westbury, NY

LTC Deborah L. Parker

United States Army

Service:  US Army, Adjutant General Corps

Length of Service:  23 years, 1978-2001

Rank:  Lieutenant Colonel 

Last Assignment: Military District of Washington, Fort McNair, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations

Position: Assistant Operations Officer

Current Status: Retired

I chose to join the Army in May of 1978 for many reasons. Some familiarities also led to my choice to enter the Army as a career. One of my uncles was in the Army and doing well, my sister had joined the year before and was stationed in Germany, and having worked on an Army base one summer I liked what I saw in terms of the discipline and camaraderie. The opportunities, adventure and travel were good, especially for blacks during the 1970s and ‘80s. We stood a better chance of "being all we could be" in the Army post civil rights movement. I was additionally seeking a sense of fairness—where ability, not looks, would pave my roads to opportunity. Plus a part of me also wanted to defend this land called the U.S.A. for the dividends of democracy—thus my feelings and experiences about and with the Army were full of potential and accented with a positive career outlook.

So I enlisted in May 1978 and immediately focused my intentions on becoming an officer. I did research to make sure I could set that goal in motion once I arrived at basic training in June. My college degree was in hand, so I met the first requirement for commissioned status—which I went on to attend an officers’ training program nine months later, graduating from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning Georgia in 1979.

I was commissioned in the Adjutant General Corps and went to my branch school at Fort Harrison Indiana. Assignments followed at Fort McClellan Alabama, Yongsan Seoul Korea and Fort Meade Maryland. I left active duty in 1984 and went into the US Army Reserve until 2001. Retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, I did reserve duty with troop units at Fort Dix New Jersey, Fort Lee and Fort Belvoir Virginia, as well as the Military District of Washington. My positions included Training Officer, Detachment Commander, Security Officer, Assistant Operations Officer and Personnel Staff Officer.


My army experience taught me a lot about leadership and I now own a management and personal development consulting firm, The DPJ Training Group, in Leesburg Virginia. I conduct workshops on communications, leadership, cultural diversity and workplace harassment for

federal and private sector clients. I’ve also authored a book, a motivational memoir entitled, Navigating Life’s Roadways: Stories of Insight from My Odyssey and Inspiration for Your Journey, where I chronicle my setbacks and successes in a creative and informative way. My speaking engagements are with business networking groups, women’s fellowship forums, book clubs and churches.

Mildred Gates Hooper

United States Army

Service: US Army - World War II Veteran , Women's Army Auxiliary  Corp (WAAC), Women's Army Corp (WAC)

Length of Service: 1943- 1945 

Rank: Private First Class

Last Assignment: 6888TH Central Postal Directory

Position: Postal Clerk

Current Status: Retired

Col. Laurie V. Brasher

United States Army

Service: US Army, Adjutant General Corp   

Length of Service:  26 years, 1978-2004 

Rank: Colonel 

Last Assignment: Human Resources Command, St. Louis, MO

Position: Director, Officer Personnel Management

Current Status: Retired

Aurella "Vicki" Murray

United states Army

Service: US Army

Rank: Chief Warrant Officer Five

Last Assignment: National Guard Bureau

Current Status: Retired

The first female and African-American female to achieve the rank of "Chief Warrent Officer Five" in thr U.S. Army.

Shirley (Mundee) McDougal

United States Army,  Vietnam Veteran

Service: US Army, Adjutant General Corp  

Length of Service: 20 years, 1970-1990 

Rank: Sergeant First Class 


I entered the United States Army on April 23, 1970. I was trained as a Personnel Specialist, and after a brief assignment to Oakland Army Base in Oakland, California, I volunteered for a tour of duty in Vietnam.


I served with the 18th MP Bde, 720th MP Bn, C Company. While in country, I had the honor of being the Long Binh Post Escort for Sammy Davis Jr, as he toured the country on a USO tour in 1971/72 timeframe.


The climate was hostile to Blacks, and I saw a lot of suffering on the part of African American troops from not only the Viet Cong, but our own troops, who were White. I left Vietnam in 1972, and went on to duty in Japan and Germany as well. My various assignments afforded me the opportunity to visit eighteen (18) countries) before I retired after 20 years service in 1990.


Today, I am the Founding President of the Global Center for Veterans Issues, headquartered in Fayetteville, North Carolina, near Ft Bragg. The Center is dedicated to the removal of barriers to veterans benefits in the Minority and female veteran ranks. We are also committed to the prevention of homelessness and suicide in those populations.


I enjoy writing poetry, good books, being a mentor to my 13-year-old grandniece, Chanae. I am extremely pleased to be a part of the National Association for Black Military Women because we are a vital and very important part of American history, and the world should know that we served with courage, valor, and distinction.

Gladys (Schuster) Carter

United States Army

Service: US Army, Womens Army Auxillary Corps (WAAC) & Womens Army Corps (WAC), World War II Veteran (1943-45)

Rank:  Private First Class (PFC)

Length of Service: Feb 1943 - Nov 1945

Last Assignment:  6888TH Central Postal Directory Battalion 

Position:  Postal Clerk

Current Status:  Deceased

I was a Junior at Virginia State University when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Like all Americans I was outraged that “our “ country would be attacked. When it was announced that the Army was looking for women to join the Armed Forces, I was immediately ready to enlist. I had interesting experiences in the Army. I loved basic training with all of the marching, saluting, and learning to do things “the Army way”

Following basic training at Ft. Des Moines, Iowa, I was sent to Army Clerical School. After graduation, I worked as a clerk in the X-ray department of the station hospital at Fort Riley, Kansas. I enjoyed my next assignment as Assistant Director of the Enlisted men’s Service Club at Walla Walla Army Air Base in the state of Washington.

My proudest service was with the 6888th Central Postal Directory in England and France. We were the first and only African American Army women to serve overseas in WW II. Our battalion commanded by MAJ Charity Adams (the first female and black female officer commissioned in the WAAC). We were able to clear the seven football fields of backlog mail in three months time -- enabling all US soldiers in the European theater of operations to receive their mail.

While in the Army I married Oscar “Tank” Carter Jr. Upon our discharges, my husband and I both returned to Virginia State to complete our bachelor degrees. Using the GI Bill of Rights, I earned my BS in Sociology, and later my MA in Education. I had two wonderful sons, three lovely granddaughters, one fine great-grandson. Most of all, I enjoyed a loving marriage of fifty-six years.

I worked for the New York State Division for Youth and retired as principal after twenty-five years of service. I have been very active in community activities and served on the boards of the Columbia County Community College and the Columbia County Memorial Hospital. I had the opportunity to travel widely both in the states and abroad.

I am very active in veterans affairs. I have a passion for the National Association of Black Military Women. I am a Chartered Life-time member and served as the Chairperson of the Organizational Structure Committee (which was responsible for structuring the NABMW, creating by-laws, membership criteria, national officer’s positions, and elections procedures). I personally developed the NABMW procedures to establish new Chapters within the NABMW Regions. I also served as the first Chairperson of the NABMW Northeast Region. I currently serve on the NABMW Executive Board as an advisor to the executive committee.

Vera Harrison Haskin

United States Army

Service: US Army, Women Army  Auxilary Corps, World War II Veteran


  • Member, Class 1, First WAAC Training Center Officer Cadre, Fort Des Moines, Iowa July 1942

  • Supply Officer, 33rd WAAC Det, Ft Huachuka November 1942- April 1943

  • Company Commander, WAAC Bn, FT. Devens, Massachusetts, April - July 1943

  • Company Commander, Black WAC Detachment, Ft. Knox, KY July-1943 - December 1944

  • Commander, Company C, 6888th Central Postal Directory, Birmingham, England, February - May 1945, Rouen, France - May 1945 - October 1945

Length of Service: 1942 - 1945


Last Assignment: Rouen, France

Position: Commander, Company C, 6888th Central Postal Directory


Kathleen Frances Harris

United States Army

​Service: US Army - Finance Corp

Length of Service: 1976-2003

Rank: Colonel

Last Assignment: Office Chief Army Reserve

Position: Senior Program Budget Officer

Current Status: Retired

The military has afforded me the lifestyle that I would not have experienced as a civilian.  I have had assignments from unit level to Department of the Army (Pentagon) both Non-Commissioned Officer and as a Commission Officer.  I have traveled throughout the United States and overseas.  I have met people from all types of backgrounds and ethnic groups.  The most important thing the military have taught me is that we are all family (regardless of our background, where we live or our beliefs).  The support that I have received from both military and civilian personnel throughout my career, along with the blessing of God and a strong mother, has made me what I am today and has helped me reach the rank of Colonel.

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