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Inspirational Leaders

The women of the military are truly inspirational. See them, read their stories, and imagine the possibilities in our Inspirational Women Anthology. Never doubt that maybe one day you’ll be profiled here, too. Because we know better than anyone that all that may limit you is your imagination of the possibilities.


Unless otherwise noted, photos courtesy of the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Coast Guard, Library of Congress and the National Archive.


Lori Hill

Warrant Officer, US Army First fe...

Monica Lin Brown

Sargeant., US Army Silver Star Re...

Jacqueline Cochran

WASP, US Air Force Highly Decorat...

Monica J. Dixon

Sgt. Major, US Army first female ...

Rhonda L. Cornum

Brig. General, US Army POW a...

Linda L. Bray

  Captain, US Army

Tammy Duckworth

Lt Colonel, US Army Purple Heart ...

Margaret H. Woodward

Major General, US Air Force First...

Leigh Ann Hester

Sergeant, US Army Silver Star Med...

Sherri Gallagher

Sergeant, US Army First Female So...

Deborah Samson

Private, Army

Sharon K.G. Dunbar

Major General, US Air Force Comma...

Patricia Horoho

Lieutenant General, US Army First...

Margaret W. Burcham

Brigadier General, US Army First ...

Marcia Anderson

Major General, US Army First Afri...

Laura Richardson

Brigadier General, US Army First ...

Gwen Bingham

Brigadier General, US Army First ...

Adele Hodges

Colonel, US Marines First woman t...

Annie G. Fox

Lieutenant, US Army First woman t...

Eileen Collins

Colonel, US Air Force First femal...

Elsie Ott

Lieutenant, US Air Force First fe...

Esther Blake

Sergeant, US Air Force First woma...

Holly Harrison

Lieutenant, US Coast Guard First ...

Kelly George

Lieutenant, US Air Force The firs...

Leigh Ann Hester

Sergeant, US Army First female U....

Oveta Culp Hobby

Colonel, US Army First secretary ...

Kara Spears Hultgree...

Lieutenant, US Navy First female ...

Beverly Kelley

Captain, US Coast Guard First wom...

Colleen Cain

Lieutenant, US Coast Guard First ...

Darlene Marie Iskra

Commander, US Navy First female c...

Diane Bucci

Master Chief, US Coast Guard One ...

Diane W. Durham

Captain, US Coast Guard Commandin...

Evelyn Fields

Rear Admiral, USNOAA First female...

Heather Lynn Johnsen

Sergeant, US Army F

June Ryan

Third woman in US history to act as the Military Aide to t...

Loretta Perfectus Wa...

First woman to enlist as active-duty Navy

Louise C. Wilmot

First woman to command a United States naval base...

Opha Mae Johnson

First woman to enlist in the United States Marine Corps

Sally Brice-OHara

27th Vice-Commandant of the US Coast Guard 

Sarah M. Deal

First female aviator for the US Marine Corps  

Margaret Riley-Crawf...

One of the first five women to graduate from the Coast Gua...

Margaret DeLuca Klei...

First female Commandant of the US Naval Academy

Wendy Lawrence

First female graduate of the US Naval Academy to fly into ...

Nicole Margaret Elli...

First female pilot to fly with the Thunderbirds, the US Ai...

Michelle Janine Howa...

First African-American woman three starVi...

Sara A. Joyner

First female commander of a US Navy Carrier Air Wing

Michelle D. Johnson

First female to serve as the Cadet Wing Commander of the U...

Sandra Leigh Stosz

First female superintendent of the US Coast Guard Academy

Alene Bertha Duerk

First woman to be selected for flag rank in the US Navy

Ann E. Dunwoody

First woman in US military history to achieve a four-star ...

Anna Mae Hays

First woman in the US Army to be promoted to a general off...

Anne E. Rondeau ...

First Commander of the Naval Service Training Command

Carol A. Mutter ...

First woman Marine Major General and Lieutenant General

Carol M. Pottenger

First female full-time support officer to be selected for ...

Claudia Kennedy

First female to reach rank of three-star general in the US...

Elizabeth P. Hoising...

One of the first two women to attain the rank of Brigadier...

Frances C. Wilson

First US Marine Corps President of the National Defense Un...

Grace Murray Hopper

Co-inventor of COBOL Rear Admiral...

Janet C. Wolfenbarge...

First female four-star general of the US Air Force

Jeanne M. Holm

First female two-star general of the US Air Force...

Judith Fedder

Deputy Chief of Staff Lie...

Leslie F. Kenne

First female Lieutenant General in the US Air Force

Martha Rainville

First woman in National Guard to serve as a state Adjutant...

Patricia Ann Tracey

First female Vice Admiral   ...

Rebecca S. Halstead

First female West Point graduate to become a general offic...

Susan J. Helms

Longest space walk 

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