Elizabeth Paschel Hoisington
Hoisington as a brigadier general and Director of the Women's Army Corps, circa 1970
|Born||November 3, 1918|
|Died||August 21, 2007 88) (aged|
|Years of service||1942–1971|
|Battles/wars|| World War II |
|Awards|| Distinguished Service Medal |
Legion of Merit (2)
|Relations|| Colonel Perry M. Hoisington (grandfather)|
Colonel Gregory Hoisington (father)
Major General Perry M. Hoisington II (brother)
Elizabeth Paschel Hoisington (November 3, 1918 – August 21, 2007) was a United States Army officer who was one of the first two women to attain the rank of brigadier general.
The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.
In the United States Armed Forces, brigadier general is a one-star general officer with the pay grade of O-7 in the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force. Brigadier general ranks above a colonel and below major general. The rank of brigadier general is equivalent to the rank of rear admiral in the other uniformed services. The NATO equivalent is OF-6.
Born in Newton, Kansas, on November 3, 1918, Elizabeth Hoisington was a 1940 graduate of the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.
Newton is a city in and the county seat of Harvey County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 19,132. Newton is located 25 miles (40 km) north of Wichita. The city of North Newton is located immediately north, existing as a separate political entity.
During World War II the United States Army expanded opportunities for women beyond nursing by creating the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC).
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
The Women's Army Corps (WAC) was the women's branch of the United States Army. It was created as an auxiliary unit, the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) on 15 May 1942 by Public Law 554, and converted to an active duty status in the Army of the United States as the WAC on 1 July 1943. Its first director was Oveta Culp Hobby, a prominent woman in Texas society. The WAC was disbanded in 1978, and all units were integrated with male units.
Hoisington enlisted in the WAACs in November 1942 and completed her basic training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa. At the time, women were required to serve in units before they could apply to Officer Candidate School (OCS), so Private Hoisington went to a WAAC aircraft early warning unit in Bangor, Maine.
The Fort Des Moines Provisional Army Officer Training School was a military base and training facility on the south side of Des Moines, Iowa. Established in 1901, the base is notable as the place where African Americans were trained to be officers for the U.S. Army during World War I, and where women first began training for US Army service in 1942 as part of the Women's Army Corps. Surviving older portions of the base were declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974 in recognition of this history. The fort property was turned over to the city in the 1950s, and has since been put a number of public and private uses.
Iowa is a state in the Midwestern United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states; Wisconsin to the northeast, Illinois to the east, Missouri to the south, Nebraska to the west, South Dakota to the northwest, and Minnesota to the north.
Bangor is a city in the U.S. state of Maine, and the county seat of Penobscot County. The city proper has a population of 33,039, making it the state's 3rd largest settlement behind Portland (66,882) and Lewiston (36,221).
The company commander recognized her talents and made her the first sergeant soon after her arrival.
First sergeant is typically a senior non-commissioned officer rank, used in many countries. In NATO armed forces the rank is on OR8 level.
From Private to First Sergeant, that was my greatest promotion in the Army. ~General Hoisington
She later said that she then sought out the most grizzled male first sergeant she could find and asked him to teach her what she needed to know. She said that he did such a good job that when she reached OCS she never had to open a book.
Hoisington was commissioned in May, 1943, as a WAAC third officer. When the auxiliary became the Women's Army Corps (WAC) a month later, its officers changed to standard Army ranks, and Hoisington became a second lieutenant. She deployed to Europe, serving in France after D-Day. Hoisington continued her career after World War II and advanced through the ranks to colonel as she commanded WAC units in Japan, Germany, and France and served in staff assignments in San Francisco and at the Pentagon.
She was appointed the seventh director of the Women's Army Corps on August 1, 1965,and served from 1966 to 1971. As director during the Vietnam War she visited WACs serving in Saigon and Long Binh in September, 1967. According to some sources, Hoisington discouraged sending Army women to Vietnam because she believed the controversy would deter progress in expanding the overall role of women in the Army.
On May 15, 1970, President Nixon announced the first women selected for promotion to brigadier general: Anna Mae Hays, Chief of the Army Nurse Corps, and Hoisington.The two women were promoted on June 11. Hays and Hoisington were promoted within minutes of each other. Because they were promoted in alphabetical order, Hays was the first woman in the United States Armed Forces to wear the insignia of a brigadier general.
The Hoisington and Hays promotions resulted in positive public relations for the Army, including appearances on the Dick Cavett, David Frost and Today shows. Hoisington, who was noted for her quick smile and ebullient personality, also appeared as a mystery guest on the popular game show What's My Line?
Hoisington retired on August 1, 1971.
Her grandfather, Colonel Perry Milo Hoisington I, helped to organize the Kansas National Guard. Her father, Gregory Hoisington, was a graduate of West Point and a colonel in the Army. He was a direct descendant of Ebenezer Hoisington, a founder of the state of Vermont and a soldier in the American Revolution.
Her brother, Perry Hoisington II, was a United States Air Force general. Elizabeth Hoisington’s 1970 promotion made them the first brother and sister generals in the United States military.
She was survived by a younger brother, Robert, and a sister, Nancy (d. 2012).
Hoisington died in Springfield, Virginia, on August 21, 2007, at the age of 88. She is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 6, Site 9239-B.
|1st Row||Army Distinguished Service Medal||Legion of Merit w/ Oak Leaf Cluster|
|2nd Row||Bronze Star Medal||Army Commendation Medal||Women's Army Corps Service Medal|
|3rd Row||American Campaign Medal||European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal w/ one service star||World War II Victory Medal|
|4th Row||Army of Occupation Medal||National Defense Service Medal w/ Oak Leaf Cluster||Croix de guerre 1939–1945 (France) w/ Star|
Oveta Culp Hobby was the first secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, first director of the Women's Army Corps, and a chairperson of the board of the Houston Post.
Wesley Merritt was an American major general who served in the cavalry of the United States Army during the American Civil War, American Indian Wars, Spanish–American War, and the Philippine–American War. Following the latter war, he became the first American Military Governor of the Philippines.
Edith Nourse Rogers was an American social welfare volunteer and politician who was an early woman to serve in the United States Congress. She was the first woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts. Until 2012, she was the longest serving Congresswoman. In her 35 years in the House of Representatives she was a powerful voice for veterans and sponsored seminal legislation, including the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, which provided educational and financial benefits for veterans returning home from World War II, the 1942 bill that created the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), and the 1943 bill that created the Women's Army Corps (WAC). She was also instrumental in bringing federal appropriations to her constituency, Massachusetts's 5th congressional district.
Anna Mae Violet McCabe Hays was an American military officer who served as the 13th chief of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. She was the first woman in the U.S. Armed Forces to be promoted to a General Officer rank; in 1970, she was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. Hays paved the way for equal treatment of women, countering occupational sexism, and made a number of recommendations, which were accepted into military policy.
William Hays was a career officer in the United States Army, serving as a Union Army general during the American Civil War.
Women in the Air Force (WAF) was a program which served to bring women into limited roles in the United States Air Force. WAF was formed in 1948 when President Truman signed the Women's Armed Services Integration Act, allowing women to serve directly in the military. The WAF program ended in 1976 when women were accepted into the USAF on an equal basis with men.
Brigadier General Walter Daniel Fillmore was a general officer in the United States Marine Corps.
John Baillie McIntosh, although born in Florida, served as a Union Army brigadier general in the American Civil War. His brother, James M. McIntosh, served as a Confederate general until he was killed in the Battle of Pea Ridge.
Ann Elizabeth Dunwoody is a retired general of the United States Army. She is the first woman in U.S. military and uniformed service history to achieve a four-star officer rank, receiving her fourth star on November 14, 2008.
Mildred Inez C. Bailey was a United States Army officer, who served as director of the Women's Army Corps from August 1971 until July 1975 with the rank of Brigadier General.
Anna Mac Clarke from Kentucky joined the Women's Army Corps of the US Army in 1942. She became the first African American women to be a commanding officer of an otherwise all White regiment, so broke not only gender barriers and conquered race barriers when the United States military was still segregated.
Irene O. Galloway (1908–1963) was an American Army soldier and the fourth commanding officer of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC).
Hazel Winifred Johnson-Brown was a nurse and educator who served in the United States Army from 1955 to 1983. In 1979 she became the first black female general in the United States Army and the first black chief of the United States Army Nurse Corps. She was also the Director of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing.
Sue Jehl was one of the best known Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) personnel to serve the United States during World War II. She was one of the three personal secretaries to General Dwight David Eisenhower, serving him from January 1943 to April 1947.
Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Clarke was a United States Army officer who served as the director of the Women's Army Corps. She was the first woman to attain the rank of major general in the U.S. Army. Clarke served in the U.S. Army for 36 years, the longest service of any woman for a U.S. Army career. Norwich University awarded her an Honorary Doctorate in military science in 1978. Clarke retired in 1981 and was appointed to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services.
Colonel Martha Westray Battle Long, more commonly known as Westray Battle Long, was the second director of the Women's Army Corps and an early recipient of the Legion of Merit. Before entering the service, Long worked in her first husband's insurance agency and in various government agencies. She is best known for her service during World War II, which included serving on the staff of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. During her military service her name was Westray Battle Boyce.
Charles J. Girard was a brigadier general in the United States Army. Assigned to head the Capital Military Assistance Command in Saigon in November 1969, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage two months later, becoming one of the highest-ranking American officers to die in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
Elna Jane Hilliard Grahn served in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) and later the Women's Army Corps (WAC) during World War II. Grahn commanded the 2525th WAC unit in Fort Myer, Virginia. Grahn was the first woman to serve on a United States Army General Court Martial.
There have been women in the United States Army since the Revolutionary War, and women continue to serve in it today. As of fiscal year 2014, women are approximately 14 percent of the active duty Army, 23 percent of the Army Reserve, and 16 percent of the Army National Guard.
An obituary in the Washington Post dated November 4, 2007, lists four siblings: Major General Perry M. Hoisington, USAF (Ret.), Lt Col Robert H. Hoisington, USA (Ret.), Mary Jo Maertens and Nancy H. Smith; 18 nieces and nephews, numerous great- and great-great nieces and nephews.