A White Sands Missile Range employee shared her unique recollection of her role during the Vietnam War.
Kathleen Hogan, a WSMR Museum data entry clerk, was only 28 years old when she joined the Women’s Army Corps.
“As I remember, we did not talk about the war, we just did our job,” Hogan said.
What Hogan may not have realized was that she, along with
several other thousands of females who served, paved the way for females who are currently serving alongside their male counterparts. The WAC was established under the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps after the attacks of Pearl Harbor in 1942. From 1942 to 1972 females were only allowed to serve in office related roles other than in the field of nursing. Shortly after nearing the end of the Vietnam War the separation of female office roles in the Army slowly began to phase out. In 1978 the WAC was disestablished by Congress in order to fully integrate males and females in the Army.
Hogan joined the WAC as a first lieutenant with a Master’s degree in Library Science from Syracuse University. She describes her time in the WAC as uneventful; she found an apartment off post and shopped on post while quietly doing her job as a transportation specialist in between. She was promoted to the rank of captain within 16 months. Her basic duty assignments were to find transportation and storage for Soldier’s household goods.
“I did not endure anything special. I never had any combat or war experience,” Hogan said.
“I do not think that I would have been so eager to join if I knew that I would be getting shot at,” Hogan added of the females currently experiencing a combat environment, something that females were not exposed to when Hogan enlisted.
Hogan said she decided to enlist because she kept seeing news coverage of the war and was tired of how she saw the Soldiers being treated overseas. More so, Hogan said she felt the service members were also being disrespected back home through forms of protests.
“I felt I should do my part and help our country,” Hogan said.