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Tennessee National Guard Unveils Women’s History Wall

  • Published
  • By Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Cordeiro,
  • Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Office

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee National Guard hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 28 to celebrate the addition of a Women’s History Wall in the lobby of Nashville’s Joint Force Headquarters. 

The new memorial honors the many significant achievements women have made in the Tennessee National Guard and the prominent women who paved the way for generations of Soldiers and Airmen who followed.

Col. Linda Kieser, director of Human Resources for the Tennessee National Guard, developed the memorial.

“We wanted to recognize all of the great female leaders in our organization,” Kieser said. “We started doing research and put a plan together to honor some of these women who have done amazing things in their careers as Guardsmen.”

The wall honors 23 women from the Tennessee National Guard and can highlight others. The first female brigade commander, the first female chief warrant officer, the first female helicopter pilot and many others are displayed for all who pass through the lobby to see.

“It took a lot of digging through our past to determine who was first to do this and that,” said Kieser. “I’ve been serving for 37 years, so I used my network and I spoke with many retirees and people I’ve served with to establish who deserved to be honored.”

Eleven of the 23 women celebrated on the wall attended the ceremony, held during Women’s History Month. One of the honorees, retired Maj. Gen. Jannette Young, thanked everyone for the recognition. Maj. Gen. Warner Ross, Tennessee’s adjutant general, also attended the ceremony.

“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,” Ross said. “By taking a look at the past, we can see opportunity in the future.”

Ross presented each woman with his commander’s coin and thanked them for their contributions to the Tennessee National Guard.

“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.”