July 09, 1947 : First female army officer

Introduction

In a ceremony held at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, General Dwight D. Eisenhower appoints Florence Blanchfield to be a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, making her the first woman in U.S. history to hold permanent military rank.

A member of the Army Nurse Corps since 1917, Blanchfield secured her commission following the passage of the Army-Navy Nurse Act of 1947 by Congress. Blanchfield had served as superintendent of the Army Nurse Corps during World War II and was instrumental in securing passage of the Army-Navy Nurse Act, which was advocated by Representative Frances Payne Bolton. In 1951, Blanchfield received the Florence Nightingale Award from the International Red Cross. In 1978, a U.S. Army hospital in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was named in her honor.

Article Details:

July 09, 1947 : First female army officer

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2010

  • Title

    July 09, 1947 : First female army officer

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-female-army-officer

  • Access Date

    November 23, 2017

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks