Tennessee National Guard Unveils Women’s History Wall, Honoring Trailblazers

The Tennessee National Guard unveiled a Women's History Wall honoring significant achievements of female Guardsmen.

The Tennessee National Guard celebrated the addition of a Women’s History Wall in the lobby of Nashville’s Joint Force Headquarters on March 28. The memorial honors the significant achievements and prominent women who paved the way for generations of Soldiers and Airmen in the Tennessee National Guard.

Col. Linda Kieser, the Director of Human Resources for the Tennessee National Guard, developed the memorial to recognize the pivotal roles these women played throughout history. “We wanted to recognize all of the great female leaders in our organization,” said Kieser. “We started doing research and put a plan together to honor some of these women who have done amazing things in the careers as Guardsmen.”

The wall currently honors 23 women from the Tennessee National Guard, including the first female brigade commander, the first female chief warrant officer, and the first female helicopter pilot. Kieser, who has served for 37 years, used her network and spoke with many retirees and people she served with to determine who deserved to be honored.

At the ceremony, 11 of the 23 women celebrated on the wall were present. Retired Maj. Gen. Jannette Young spoke to the crowd, thanking everyone for the recognition. Tennessee’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Warner Ross, also attended the ceremony, emphasizing the significance of the tribute.

“Since the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act was signed on June 12, 1948, these women, and so many others, overcame insurmountable obstacles, and helped create a culture that values and rewards creative thinking, risk-taking, and mold breaking,” said Ross. “By taking a look at the past, we can see opportunity in the future.”

The memorial serves as a reminder of the great women who rose to the top of their respective fields and the sacrifices they made to get there. “The women we are honoring here left a remarkable legacy and paved the way for countless women who follow in their footsteps,” said Kieser. “These incredible women shattered the glass ceiling and emerged as true trailblazers, inspiring future generations for years to come, and we are so proud to honor their legacy.

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