An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

She Served: In honor of Women’s History Month

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Abbigayle Williams
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

Since July 8, 1948, women across the United States have answered their Nation’s call and sworn to defend this country with their life. They have all raised their right hand to be Airmen in the U.S. Air Force and all military branches.

Here are some of the women who paved the way for the current generation:

Esther Blake was the first woman ever to enlist into the Air Force after President Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act.

Eileen Collins (ret.) joined in 1979 and served as an aircraft commander and instructor pilot. Additionally, she was the first female flight instructor. After being picked up for the astronaut program with NASA in 1991, she became the first woman to pilot a space shuttle and became the first woman shuttle commander.

Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger (ret.) is the first female in the Air Force to become a four-star general.

And, although she never raised her right hand, Jacqueline Cochran was a ‘big A’ Airman and she was appointed the Director of Woman’s Flying Training for the United States, eventually known as the Women Air Force Service Pilots program. Cochran was the first woman to break the sound barrier, set a record for women’s national speed, and was considered the best female pilot. Additionally, she set altitude records, won five Harmon Trophies and at the time of her death, no other pilot held more speed distance or altitude records in aviation.

Today, the women of F.E. Warren AFB, and the surrounding community, are making great strides as well.

Maj. Laura Jeffrey is currently serving in the Wyoming Air National Guard, has had various deployments all over Europe, South West Asia and Afghanistan. Jeffrey works as a combat systems officer on C-130H3s and does the planning for missions or formation airdrops.

Jeffrey feels as if she misses the daily interactions as a step-mom and aunt and it is never easy leaving. She also has a hidden sense of guilt for missing out on even the most insignificant moments in her family’s lives.

“There are so many amazing service members from the past and present. Each has their own story, their own experiences, and their career. Supporting and encouraging one another is paramount in ensuring our success in future endeavors.”

Capt. Mara Title serves as an Air Force Chaplain providing counseling, unit engagement and instructs Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. She has noted that support within the Air Force is when leadership continually asks how she is doing and honors a request for self-care.

“A lot of young people I talk with feel anxiety about not knowing what they want to do as a career and that working jobs they are disinterested in are a waste of time," she said. "I had no idea I wanted to become a chaplain until I was 30, but all of the jobs I did beforehand, I was even a tour-guide driver at one point, have significantly helped me in my current role. I would encourage people they don’t have to have all the answers because time has a way of revealing what’s next, and the skills one develops help in all aspects of life.”

Command Sgt. Maj. Gayla Baugh served 34 years in the military, both in the Marine Corps and Wyoming Army National Guard. During her career, she served in personnel and logistics.

Baugh feels like support comes in the form of mail and unexpected packages. It comes from families rallying together to help those in need when devastated with a natural disaster. Also it comes from leadership understanding how to care for military member’s so they can better focus on the mission.

Master Sgt. Jennifer Teets has previously deployed to the United Arab Emirates and currently works as a flight chief in financial analysis, a resource advisor and a report of survey program manager. Additionally, her husband serves in the military and she feels it can be hard trying to compromise on whose career has the current priority when making long term decisions.

Teets also notes that though she and her husband have had amazing assignments, they have taken a toll on the family, but through that, she has had a circle to rely on for assistance, no matter the circumstance.

Airman 1st Class Guadalupe Sanchez is a security forces defender in plans and programs. She has not had the opportunity to deploy, but looks forward to it. She feels like having accountability is the best support to have in family, friends and military family. This has also helped her when balancing out work, home-life and being a single mother.

Sanchez migrated to the United States as a toddler and had a lifelong dream to join the Marine Corps, but had to put it on hold due to her legal status. Finally, around the age of 29, she joined the Air Force and strives to give 100 percent every day and make it count.

“The USAF has been good to us, and for that, I am forever grateful, I feel I owe it to USAF to keep going forward even at times of indisposition.”