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The First Women Switchboard Operators, WWI – “The Hello Girls”
Reverend Alice M. Henderson, a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, became the first woman to officially serve in the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps in July 1974. She was sworn in at a ceremony at U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) at Fort McPherson, GA and served for 13 years.
Chaplain (CPT) Bonnie Koppell became the first female rabbi officially endorsed as a military chaplain in 1981. In May 2011, Chaplain (Capt.) Pratima Dharm became the military's first Hindu chaplain.
Chaplain (COL Ret.) Janet Horton was the first woman promoted to Colonel in the Army Chaplain Corps. COL. Horton and her non-commissioned officer in charge (NCOIC), Iraida Velazquez, were the first Division-level all-female Unit Ministry Team.
Chaplain (CPT) Mel O'Malley, regularly shares her unique experience as a female in ministry with potential future chaplains in her position with the South Central Chaplain Recruiting Team. It has been an adjustment to get used to being the only female Chaplain in the room and even to work with colleagues who don't affirm women in ministry.
Chaplain (CPT) Delana Small, became the first female Chaplain assigned to a combat arms battalion unit - the 101st Airborne Division.
Chaplain (CPT) LeyAnne Ward and Chaplain (Capt.) Alison Ward brought new meaning to the concept of "sisters in service" in 2010, when the biological sisters were commissioned as chaplains. They both graduated from CH-BOLC in August 2009, commissioned as USAR chaplains in June 2010, and transitioned to Active Duty in September 2012, and began serving at Fort Bragg together in January 2013.
Chaplain (CPT) Vivian Keady Yanquoi-West became the first female Chaplain assigned the 1st Cavalry Division.
BG Colleen L. McGuire
BG Clara Adam-Ender
CW5 Sharon Swartworth
MAJ Helen Loretta (Freudenberger) Holmes
1LT Lauran Glover
CSM Billie Jo Boersma
SPECIAL RECOGNITION OF CHAMPIONS AWARDS
CPT Whennah Andrews
The success ultimately came in November 1978 when President Jimmy Carter signed a veterans' bill containing provisions that made possible official discharge papers and Victory Medals for the women who had served in the Signal Corps during World War I.
Had Mark Hough not done this, it is almost certain their story would have been lost to history.
Mr. Mark Hough
Dr. Elizabeth Cobbs
The SixTripleEight is a compelling documentary that tells the fascinating story of the only all-female, all-black, Women's Army Corps (WACs) battalion to serve overseas during WWII.
Due to a chaotic mail system in Europe during WWII, servicemen had low morale due to lack of contact with loved ones. In February 1945, the U.S. Army sent 855 black women from the Women’s Army Corps (WACs) to England and France to clear the multi-year backlog of mail and packages. The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion was known as the Six Triple Eight — the only all-black female battalion to serve in Europe during WWII. His documentary, the SixTripleEight, tells their incredible story.
His film, the Hello Girls won best Documentary Feature at the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival in 2018 and the People’s Choice Award at the Beloit International Film Festival in 2019. Over May 13-17, 2019, James screened the SixTripleEight, throughout England, courtesy of the United States Embassy in London, at several universities and venues to include the Birmingham, England City Hall, Universities of Manchester, Glasgow, and Cardiff, and the National War Museum in London. The SixTripleEight was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 9th Annual Charlotte Black Film Festival.
James Theres has a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and an MA in History from Jackson State University.
His first film, The 30th of May, was based on his graduate research project of the same name. The paper received the prestigious Dr. Margaret Walker Alexander Award at the 10th Annual Creative Arts Festival at Jackson State University. The documentary received 10 awards and appeared on
In June 2019, James received the prestigious 2019 Media and Entertainment Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) at their National Defense Night Ceremony of their 128th DAR Continental Congress on Saturday, June 29 at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. Past recipients include Lynn Novick, Director, The Vietnam War with Ken Burns, the Broadway musical Hamilton, the AMC series TURN: Washington’s Spies, and the mini-series John Adams produced by HBO Films.