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Center for Women Veterans


Jaimy Rand

Veteran Jaimy Rand in civilian clothingJaimy (Just) Rand is an Ohio native and a 1986 graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, NY where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Systems Engineering and was commissioned as a Military Police Officer in the US Army. She went on to serve in numerous leadership and staff roles throughout a 21+ year career on Active Duty as an Officer in the Military Police Corps and as an Army Acquisition Officer. Her military career culminated with her assignment as Commander, Fort Hood Contracting Command including duty as Executive Office, Iraq Contracting Operations, Joint Contracting Command-Iraq/Afghanistan.
In addition to assignments in the US and Europe as well as deployments to the Balkans and Iraq, Jaimy completed numerous civilian and military courses including Army Combined Arms and Service Staff School, Air Command and Staff College and numerous Defense Acquisition University Program Management and Contracting Courses where she attained Level III Certification in Contracting and Level II Certification in Program Management and Test and Evaluation. She earned an MBA in 1996 at the University of Texas-Austin and a Masters in Public Administration in 1999 at Auburn University-Montgomery. Jaimy is recipient of multiple awards and badges including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Army Staff Identification Badge, Air Assault Badge, and Jungle Expert Patch.
Selected for promotion to Colonel and attendance at Senior Staff College, Jaimy instead decided to retire in October 2007. After retiring from active duty she was employed by General Electric Company as a Senior Global Commodity Leader for 16 months. She subsequently accepted her current position as Chief of Acquisitions at the Erie Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Erie, PA. Jaimy has been married to Frank Rand (First Sergeant, US Army Retired) for twenty years. Their home is in Erie, PA where they reside with their 7 year old daughter, Reagan Rand.

Ame Callahan

Ame Callahan was appointed as Manager, Voluntary Service and Public Affairs Officer of the Northern Arizona VA Health Care System (NAVAHCS) in Prescott, AZ, in January 2009. In this capacity, she acts as a liaison with community organizations in an effort to maintain close working relations, dispense accurate and dispel inaccurate public information, develop resources within the community and maintain the positive public image of the Health Care System. She also manages over 700 volunteers.

She enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1977 and began her career as an Avionics Instrument Specialist on C-130 aircraft. She became First Sergeant in 1991 and retired at the rank of E-9 (Chief Master Sergeant) from the USAF in 2001 as the 12th Air Force First Sergeant with 24 years of active duty service.

She came to the Prescott VA in 2002 as the Special Assistant to the Director. In 2006, she became the Business Manager for Specialty and Diagnostics Service Line.

In addition to various Professional Military Educations, Ms. Callahan earned a BS in Industrial Technology from Southern Illinois University, as well as a Masters in Education with Counseling and Human Relations emphasis from Northern Arizona University.

She is married to Peter Eresman (USAF Veteran) and they have three children and six grandchildren. Her youngest son is currently a SSgt serving in the Air Force as an Air Traffic Controller.

Leanne Weldin

Leanne Weldin Civilian PictureLeanne Weldin is currently the Acting Director at the New Orleans Veterans Affairs Regional Office (VARO). Leanne began her VA career as a Veterans Claims Examiner at the Phoenix VARO in 1994. She has also served in various supervisory leadership positions within VA since 2004 in Seattle WA,Leanne Weldin Military Picture Huntington WV, Pittsburgh PA and Salt Lake City, UT. While a VA employee, Leanne joined the Air Force Reserves in February 1997 then transferred to the Army National Guard in 1998. After Officer Candidate School, she was commissioned as an Army Officer. From February 2003 – April 2004, she was activated and deployed to Iraq for one year as a Transportation Company Platoon Leader/Executive Officer. She received a Bronze Star Medal as a result of her actions as a convoy commander. She has been married to Sam for 24 years. They have two children, Kristin (age 22) and Samuel (age 19). Kristin is an Army medic who served in Iraq during 2010 while Samuel attends college in the Seattle area.

Nanese Loza

Civilian Picture of Nanese LozaNanese Loza joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2000 from Weatherford, Oklahoma. She was the first woman in her family to serve in the military. After training, she served as a Small Computer Systems Military Picture of Nanese LozaSpecialist at Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni, Japan and at Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC) in Washington, DC. In 2004, she was honorably discharged and immediately began working for HQMC as a civilian employee in Management Analysis and Organizational Development. Two years later, she transferred to the career field of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) with HQMC, where she found her career passion. In early 2009, she transferred to the Department of Education where she continued to support EEO programs. In June, 2010 she joined the Department of Veterans Affairs', Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), Outreach and Retention Team, where she currently works as an EEO Manager, supporting Special Emphasis Programs and initiatives for Women, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans.

Vicky Holly

Vicky Holly entered the U.S. Army in June 1984, in Cleveland, Ohio. After training, she served at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia as a Military Police Officer. She was honorably discharged in October 1989 and began working for the Department of Veterans Affairs' National Cemetery Administration (NCA) within two weeks. She currently works in NCA's Communications and Outreach Support Division managing NCA's Web sites and responding to the many emails that come in from the public.

Kathleen Silvia

Kathleen Silvia graduated from the first coed class at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1980. She served in the U.S. Army from May 1980 to May 1985 as a field artillery officer and then as a logistics officer from 1985 to 1988. Her military assignments during this period took her to Germany, France, Panama and South Korea. As an Army reservist, she participated in Operations Desert Storm/Desert Shield, preparing several New England-based reserve units for overseas deployment. From 2003 to 2006, she served full-time in the Active Guard and Reserve, including a combat tour in Iraq and Kuwait. She retired from the Army Reserve in 2006 with more than 20 years of creditable service. Kathleen was named assistant director of Fort Logan National Cemetery Oct. 11, 2009. As assistant director, she is responsible for assisting the cemetery director in all burial, maintenance and administrative operations at this facility and at Fort Lyon National Cemetery in Las Animas, Colo. Prior to this assignment, Ms. Silvia spent seven months as the assistant to the director at Calverton National Cemetery in Suffolk County, N.Y. She was instrumental in developing pre-placed crypt burial procedures as well as preparing working documents for the fiscal year 2010 budget. In February 2009, Ms. Silvia completed the Cemetery Director Intern Program at the NCA National Training Center in St. Louis. She joined NCA as a temporary cemetery representative at Salisbury National Cemetery in North Carolina in 2007.

Colonel Timothy Frank

Colonel Timothy Frank has been in the U. S. Marine Corps almost 29 years. Currently, she works in the VHA Office of Care Management and Social Work at VA Central Office, Washington, DC. As part of the Marine Corps' Wounded Warrior Regiment, she supports and advocates for wounded, ill, and injured Marines and their families throughout the phases of recovery, transition to Veterans status, and reintegration back home.

Charlotte M. Irby

Charlotte M. Irby entered the U.S. Army on September 11, 1975, in Detroit, Michigan, and served both stateside and in Germany. After being honorably discharged on March 8, 1979, she attended college and graduated in 1987 with a BS in Business from the University of Maryland.

Her career in the Federal Government began with a writer-editor Army internship in 1988. She works for the Department of Veterans Affairs as the senior technical writer-editor for the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development. She is currently working toward an MS in professional writing.

Jacqueline Haynes

Jacqueline's current position is one of Central Office liaison for the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) regional office field staff. Her position requires that she provide input to VR&E policy and procedural development. She provides advice, assistance, and clarification to Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) VR&E Regional Office management officials on a wide range of department programs, policies, and procedures. She served as the VR&E Project Manager/National Coordinator of the Coming Home to Work Outreach program. She also serves as the Co-Designated Federal Officer of the Federal Advisory Veterans Advisory Committee on Rehabilitation.

Jacqueline's served as a Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) in the United States Army from August 1983 - August 1997. Her military specialties were in the fields of avionics and communications and working on Blackhawk and Huey helicopters. She received awards that included the Army Commendation Medal 1st Oak Leaf, and Army Achievement Medals.

Jacqueline serves her community by volunteering as a Counselor and tutor.

Carmen Cordoba

Carmen Cordoba is Chief of Photography at VA Central Office. She served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1984 until her retirement in 2005. Master Sergeant Cordoba's last assignment was Producer/Director for "Your Corps"/Headquarters Marine Corps Public Affairs.

Blondell Robinson

Blondell enlisted in the U.S. Army for three years as a Specialist in Personnel Administration. When she completed her term of service she used the G.I. Bill to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) in North Carolina. While enrolled at WSSU she completed the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in Field Artillery. Blondell obtained the rank of Major before resigning her commission. She began her career with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in Columbia, SC in 1996. She worked as a Veterans Benefits Counselor (VBC) in both the in-take and the telephone units. Additional duties and responsibilities included two years as a Women Veterans Coordinator. She also assisted with the Homeless Program, Read VA updates to blind veterans, and communicated with deaf veterans about VA benefits. In 1998 she became the Military Services Coordinator. Blondell was responsible for VA briefings, assisting with and taking service members' claims at four military sites within a one hundred mile radius.

Marianne Mathewson-Chapman, Ph.D. Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner

Dr. Marianne Mathewson-Chapman is the Veterans Health Administration Outreach Consultant to the National Guard/Reserve and Families. Her VA focus is ensuring that the Reserve Component Veterans who separate from active duty know about their VA benefits and services they are eligible to receive. In her military service, she served as the Deputy Surgeon General of the Army National Guard (ARNG) and Special Assistant to the Chief, Army Nurse Corps in Washington DC. She provided oversight for the health and wellness of 350,000 ARNG soldiers in 54 states and territories. Dr. Mathewson-Chapman was the first woman promoted to the rank of Major General in the Army National Guard. She retired as a Major General, US Army in August 2005. Her military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Components Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia, Kuwait Medals and the Florida Cross. She also was awarded the Order of Military Medical Merit. She received a Meritorious Service Medal from the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs for her role in casualty triage and treatment of the injured at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. In Florida she was inducted into the Florida's Women Hall of Fame in 2000 by the Governor, State of Florida.

Raquel Riley Thomas

Raquel is currently a Marketing Consultant at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC. She is responsible for implementing and developing state- of- the art marketing and communication strategies that enhance the Department's image.

Raquel started her career in 1990 as a photojournalist in the U.S. Army. Her supervisors noted her professionalism, passion, and integrity and soon thereafter she was chosen to receive a Reserve Officers Training Corps scholarship to Hampton University. Selected as a "Distinguished Military Graduate," Raquel received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She went on to become an Ordnance Officer in the Army.

Raquel's accomplishments have been noted both in her military and corporate career. She was selected as a "Leader of the Future," by Ebony Magazine and was also featured in "Who's Who of America." As an added personal bonus, she was selected as Mrs. Maryland America on June 12, 2010. She will go on to compete against 50 other married women to vie for Mrs. America 2010. Raquel's pageant platform is titled "Veterans Employment: Taking Care of Our Heroes and their Families."

Jacqueline Eyvonne Wilson

I was recruited by a US Army Reserve Nurse while working for the Director of Nursing at DC General Hospital in Washington, DC. On December 29, 1977, I was sworn into the US Army Reserve with the intention of working in an Army hospital. Instead, I got assigned to the 5th Group PSYOP, an Intelligence Unit. I completed my basic training – Company F, 2nd Battalion, Fort McClellan, Alabama. In August 1979, I received a Certificate of Recognition for participation in Granite Glove, Fort Pickett, VA. In 1980 at Fort Indiantown Gap, PA, I processed hundreds of thousands of Cubans sponsored by Americans who fled from Fidel Castro's rule to seek sanctuary in the United States of America. In December 29, 1980, I received my Honorable Discharge.

In 1970, I started a career in the District Government. I worked for the Director of Nursing, DC General Hospital, Washington, DC. In 1984, I worked for the Department of the Army, HQ, US Corps of Engineers, Directorate of Civil Works, Eastern Program Executive Branch, ZOQ09020, Washington, DC. I began my VA career in 1985 and am currently employed in the Media Services Division of the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration.

Jolisa Dudley

Jolisa DudleyJolisa Dudley currently serves as the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Human Resources Management, Department of Veteran Affairs in support of human resources management practices. As a decorated Veteran and retired Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force, Ms. Dudley has over 20 years of executive, analytical and leadership expertise in strategic human resources management and services. She has held a variety of key leadership positions including Executive Officer, Squadron Section Commander, Chief, Military Personnel, and Chief Air Force Military Equal Opportunity.

As a former Commander, Military Training, Ms. Dudley was responsible for the health, morale, welfare, and military training of 500-plus non-prior service airmen. Additionally, Ms. Dudley has 8 years experience working for the Department of Defense, Headquarters, United States Air Force, and Defense Agency staffs, emphasizing leadership skills, long-range planning, and organizational management. A former Director, Ceremonies and Protocol, she is also a recognized Air Force ceremonies expert, having served as the office of primary responsible for White House, State Department, DOD, HQ USAF ceremonies involving the Vice President, Secretaries of State and Defense, foreign Heads of State, senior DOD and USAF leaders.

In 2004, Ms. Dudley was handpicked by the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs as Air Force representative for the high-profile Joint Task Force, Congressionally-mandated to develop comprehensive sexual assault prevention and response policy for the Department of Defense. As the Operations Officer, she was directly responsible for authoring the first-ever Department of Defense Directive and Instruction on Sexual Assault Prevention and Response. She also authored and gained the Secretary of Defense's approval for the historic and nationally acclaimed policy to allow confidential reporting of sexual assault within the military.

Shelby Bell

Shelby Bell has over 24 years of diverse leadership and staff experience, including assignments as a military police officer and resource manager in the Army and over three years at the Department of Veterans Affairs in the Office of Information and Technology. Command assignments include a battalion at Fort Meade, Maryland, and a company at Fort Stewart Georgia. She served several years as a resource manager, including an assignment as the Chief of Staff for the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Financial Management and Comptroller, the program manager for the Army's counterdrug, overseas funding, and host nation support programs, and a speechwriter for the Director of the Army Budget. Shelby also enjoyed several special staff assignments, where she observed strategic operations at the highest levels of the government as the Director for Strategic Outreach for the Army Chief of Staff, the defense fellow for Senator "Kit" Bond (R-MO), and a Congressional Fellow. Shelby lives with her husband, Michael, an Army doctor, and their three children: Sophia (15), Savannah (13), and Maxwell (10) in Severna Park, Maryland. She enjoys sailing, waterskiing, snow skiing, music, and biking. She is a graduate from the University of Colorado and has an MBA from Syracuse University. Awards include Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (4th award), Army Commendation Medal (3rd award), Army Achievement Medal (3rd award), National Defense Service Medal (2nd award), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and Army Staff Badge.

Renaee Allen

Renaee Allen proudly served her country as a Non-Commissioned Officer in the United States Army from 1988-1993 and earned her wings as a Paratrooper. She is also a veteran of the first Gulf War, in which she served in country from September 1990-March 1991 with the 528th Support Battalion.
Renaee joined the Center for Minority Veterans as a Program Analyst on November 2003. She serves as the Program Manager for the Minority Veterans Program Coordinators (MVPCs) and the Center's Liaison for the African American veteran's community. Ms. Allen ensures that information is disseminated to the MVPCs regarding issues effecting the minority veteran population, apprises them of the Center's mission, and assists in resolving issues affecting our minority veterans through adoption and implementation of policies and programs.

As Liaison for the African American veteran's community, she is constantly engaged in different events that promote cultural diversity. She also identifies issues that effect African American veterans. Prior to her employment with the VA, Ms. Allen worked as a National Service Officer and Field Representative with the Veterans of Foreign Wars. As National Service Officer, she interfaced with the veteran's community in preparing and submitting claims for veteran's benefits to the Department of Veterans Affairs. As Field Representative, she personally conducted tours of VA medical facilities and interviewed veterans and staff to identify and resolve issues of concern to veterans.

Shannon Middleton

Shannon Middleton served as an intelligence specialist in the United States Navy, from 1997-2001. She was stationed at the Joint Warfare Analysis Center (JWAC) in Dahlgren, VA, where she was responsible for briefing intelligence teams, and ensuring that network analyst received the most current information on their areas of responsibility. In her spare time, she participated in community service projects with the command's enlisted association, the base chaplain's office and with the Fredericksburg Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Upon discharge from the Navy, Shannon began her career in Veterans service. She worked for The American Legion as part of the organization's national staff from 2001-2007-- first as the health policy analyst, then the assistant director for health policy, and finally as the deputy director for health. As the organization's expert on environmental hazardous and war-related illnesses, Shannon developed resolutions that established the organization's national policy; provided congressional testimony on VA's health care services and women Veterans issues; and served on VA's advisory committees on Environmental Hazards, VA's War Related Illness and Injury Study Center's Veterans steering and advisory committee, and DoD's Millennium Cohort Study Scientific Steering and Advisory Committee.

Shannon extended her service to Veterans when she came to VACO in 2007. Currently, she serves as the Center for Women Veterans' program analyst, providing direct administrative support to the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, and providing excellent customer service to women Veterans.

Karen Vartan

Karen Vartan, R.D., M. Ed., currently serves the Federal Recovery Coordination Program as a Program Analyst. Karen was returning from a year-long mobilization at the Army Hospital in Landstuhl Germany when she was offered the opportunity to transfer from VA Central Office (VACO) Patient Care Services (PCS) to the new Federal Recovery Coordination Program (FRCP). Since FRCP coordinates care for the most seriously injured soldiers it seemed the perfect fit following Landstuhl. Karen came to VACO by way of the Washington DC VA Medical Center. There, in 2003, she had re-joined the VA as an Outpatient Registered Dietitian. At VAMC DC she met Dr. M. Agarwal, then Director of the Outpatient Clinics and now VACO's Chief, Patient Care Services Officer. Karen subsequently came to VACO and was working for Dr. Agarwal when she was mobilized.

Karen was raised in South Jersey farm country and enjoys both city and country living; she has called Chicago, Ogdensburg, New York (just south of Ottawa, Canada), and the DC metro area "home". Karen entered the Navy at Great Lakes and after her tour, joined the Naval Reserves. Follow-on positions were chosen to expand both nutrition and management skills; they included product development and marketing; personnel recruiting; program management, and finally, running her own consulting company. Along the way she earned a Masters in Education from the University of Illinois and a diploma from the Naval War College. Her Naval Reserve Career included several years supporting the Marines. She was later assigned to the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Washington DC. This past October she retired as a Navy Captain with over 36 years of service.

Karen is involved with several professional organizations related to the military, culinary arts and nutrition. She has a nutrition consultation service, sometimes traveling to Maryland, Virginia and nearby West Virginia to meet elderly, busy or fragile clients in their homes. She sings with her church choir; likes foreign travel, golf, and gardening; and matching food with wine. She resides in Silver Spring, keeps a circle of friends met in many places over many years, and is creating "shared stories" with a professor from the University of Maryland.

Jacklyn Irby

Picture of Jacklyn IrbyJackie began her career with the Department of Veterans Affairs in November 1983, at the Philadelphia Regional Office and Insurance Center. In September 2007, she relocated to the Veteran Benefits Administration Central Office, where she became a Program Analyst and member of the professional staff for the Associate Deputy Under Secretary for Management.

Jackie served in the U.S. Army Reserves from May 1982 until February 2004. In March 2003, in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, she was deployed to U.S. Armed Forces Central Command to serve as the NCOIC/Director of the Morale, Welfare and Recreations Services at an Outside Contiguous United States (OCUNUS) installation. In this role, Jackie supervised a staff of six military personnel and four civilians. She had the overall responsibility of the installation's entertainment activities and the operation of the installation's 24-hour fitness center. Jackie planned and coordinated programs and special events that impacted not only the military personnel, but also the civilian personnel assigned to the installation and their families. She handled the marketing and advertising for those events and programs; and recruited "big name" entertainers through the United Service Organizations (USO), such as Wayne Newton, Kid Rock, Alyssa Milano, Earvin Johnson, Shawn Marion, Brain Dennehy, Henry Rollins, and a host of others. Jackie also played a major role in the development and execution of a Rest and Relaxation (R&R) program for service members deployed to Iraq.

Lindee L. Lenox

Lindee L. Lenox currently serves as Associate Director for the National Cemetery Administration's (NCA) Office of Field Programs. As the second in command for the Office of Field Programs, she has oversight responsibility for VA's 131 national cemeteries and two worldwide burial benefit programs – the government headstone and marker, and Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC) programs. Prior to her current appointment, Ms. Lenox served for four years as director, Memorial Programs Service.

Lindee L. Lenox is a Vietnam era veteran. She began her career in public service when she enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1974. After training, and for the remainder of her tour of duty, she served as a military police woman at Fort Riley, Kansas. She is a life member of Vietnam Veterans of America. She used the GI Bill to attend Inter American University in Puerto Rico where she earned a BA in Psychology while also raising her son as a single parent and working full time as a GS-5 civilian employee at Fort Buchanan, PR. Ms. Lenox holds a Master of Public Administration degree from American University in Washington, D.C. She is a 2003 graduate of Leadership VA; a 2007 graduate of the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia; and a 2008 graduate of the VA Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program.

Juanita J. Mullen

Juanita J. Mullen retired from the Air Force in 2000, after 20 years of service. Half of her career was spent serving under Headquarters U.S. Air Forces Europe. She has received numerous medals to include the Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, NATO Medal, and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. Upon retirement, she was hired by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington D.C. She worked as a Self Determination Specialist in Contracts & Grants with the Eastern Regional Office, Education Specialist with the South Eastern States Agency (SESA), and as an Administrative Officer for Budget Management at the Department of Interior.

Juanita J. Mullen joined the Center for Minority Veterans and Center for Women Veterans in October 2004. She serves as the American Indian Veterans Liaison for both centers. As Liaison for the American Indian veteran's community, she is constantly engaged in different events that promote cultural diversity. She also identifies issues that effect American Indian veterans. She is an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation of Indians (Keeper of the Western Door), Cattaraugus Indian Reservation located in western New York.

Lucretia M. McClenney

Lucretia M. McClenney was appointed as Director, Center for Minority Veterans on December 6, 2005. She is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and the United States Army War College Fellowship Program at George Washington University, Washington, DC. She received her Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky and Masters of Science Degree in Psychiatric–Mental Health Nursing from Catholic University, Washington, DC.

She served 30 years in the Army and retired as a Colonel in November 2001. She served in various medical treatment facilities and staffs worldwide including Director, Population Health Integration Team, TRICARE Management Activity; Chief Nurse, European Regional Medical Command and Deputy Commander for Nursing, Landstuhl Regional Medical Command; Deputy Commander for Nursing, Moncrief Army Community Hospital, Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Assistant Deputy for Human Resources, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, The Pentagon; Chief Ambulatory Nursing, Walter Reed Army Medical Center; Senior Policy Analyst, Office of the Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs), The Pentagon; and member of the President's National Health Care Reform Task Force.

Her military decorations include: the Legion of Merit (two oak leaf clusters), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (seven oak leaf clusters), Army Commendation Medal (two oak leaf clusters), Navy Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, the Army Staff Identification Badge, Office of the Secretary of Defense Staff Identification Badge and the coveted "9A" designator, in recognition of numerous achievements at the pinnacle of nursing excellence.

Alice Muellerweiss

Alice Muellerweiss, Dean, VA Learning University, grew up in a family who encouraged her to "Be All you Can Be," long before it became the Army slogan. Alice's mother a school teacher and her father, an Army Special Forces Veteran, taught her family values, encompassing a strong commitment to our Country. As a young girl, she loved the 4th of July in her hometown, Southport, North Carolina because the 3-day event paid tribute to our military service members. She climbed into military vehicles and other static displays on the waterfront always inquiring about life as a service member. Her father and friends shared many military stories, which increased her interest in serving her Country. After graduating from high school, Alice enlisted in the Army Military Police Corps. She held a variety positions, including Drill Sergeant at Fort McClellan, Alabama, Platoon Sergeant at Operation Restore Hope in Mogadishu, Somalia; and ended her Army career as an Operations Sergeant in Kitzingen, Germany in 1996. After leaving active duty, she continued her work as a civilian employee in Army operations, training and leadership development in Germany and the United States. Training and education was always an important aspect in her life. She learned the value of an education through her mother, who championed her through many challenging times balancing family, work, and education. Alice completed her undergraduate degree with University of Maryland, University College, a graduate degree with University of Oklahoma and the United States Army War College. Seeking and accomplishing the tough jobs, the ones that require deep thinking, innovative actions, and collaborative implementation are her strengths. As a result, Alice has been recognized both on Active duty and as a civilian receiving meritorious service awards, commander's awards, leadership and academic achievement, and productivity and improvement awards. However, her greatest awards come from those she has inspired through her own story of commitment, courage, and excellence, that they too can, "Be All you Can Be."

Captain Elise Young

Captain Elise Young joined the U. S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in 2000 as a clinical social worker. Currently, she is detailed to the Department of Veterans Affairs' Federal Recovery Coordination Program. Captain Young's home agency is the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in the U. S. Dept of Health and Human Services. She was appointed by the Office of the Surgeon General to serve as the chair of the USPHS Asian Pacific American Officers Committee and the Minority Officers Liaison Council and is a founding member of the Public Health Service Music ensemble.

Betty Moseley Brown, Ed.D.

Dr. Betty Moseley Brown assumed the position of Associate Director of the Center for Women Veterans on November 1, 2004. Dr. Moseley Brown's passion for Veterans began during her United States Marine Corps service from 1978 – 1992. During her military years she was a Chaplains Assistant in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, a recruiter in Baltimore, Maryland, and a Personnel Chief in San Diego, California. Her Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) career began at the San Diego Regional Office, where she was a Veterans Benefits Counselor and served as the Women Veterans Coordinator. She briefly left the VA to work for the Department of the Navy.

Dr. Moseley Brown's mother was an Army Veterans and her father retired from the Air Force. Both are in eternal resting places at a VA National Cemetery. In March 2010, Dr. Moseley Brown kicked-off the "Her Story" campaign to recognize the military contributions of women Veterans.

Irene Trowell-Harris, R.N., Ed.D.

Picture of Irene Trowell-Harris, Director, Center for Women VeteransDr. Irene Trowell-Harris, Director, VA Center for Women Veterans, was born in Aiken, South Carolina. She has always understood the importance of working smart maintaining perseverance, having dreams and helping others. When she was just a child, she and her 10 siblings picked cotton to help their parents maintain their farm. One day, while picking cotton in the field with her siblings, she saw an airplane flying over. She decisively informed her siblings that she would one day fly and work on an airplane. They all laughed, because they believed that it was an impossible dream for a minority female in that era. When she decided she wanted become a nurse to help others, her church collected $60.00 (in nickels, dimes and quarters) for her initial tuition for nursing school, providing her the bridge she needed to get from the cotton field to nursing school and beyond. Dr. Trowell-Harris went on to honorably serve 38 years in the U.S. Air Force/Air National Guard (ANG), retiring as a Major General and garnering many "firsts." She was the first African-American female in the history of the National Guard to be promoted to general officer. She is also the first to have a mentoring award named in her honor, and to have a Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., Chapter named in her honor. In addition, she is the recipient of the Dr. James D. Weaver Society Award, named for the distinguished Pennsylvania Congressman and Air National Guard Flight Surgeon. She was inducted into the Columbia University Nursing Hall of Fame and the Yale University School of Medicine Honor Roll for her dedication to public service. Dr. Trowell-Harris was honored as one of the "21 Leaders of the 21st Century" by Women's eNews. She is a Distinguished Alumna of Yale University and Columbia University. Dr. Trowell-Harris received the Eagle Award from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for her contributions to aviation. She remains committed to inspiring others and using her accomplishments to help others realize their dreams.

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