Serving as a WAVE and Army Officer

Virginia served in both the US Navy and Army. She served as a WAVE and Army Officer. At the age of 18, she joined the Navy and became a journalist. After a break in service due to her mother’s death, she rejoined the Navy and became an intelligence specialist in the Reserves. It was her lifelong goal to be an officer, but by the time she earned her bachelors degree and qualified for being an officer, she was older than the Navy allowed. Fortunately, she was able to qualify to be an officer under the Army’s cutoff age. She commissioned into the California Army National Guard while on full-time status with the Fort Irwin National Training Center.

Serving as a WAVE and Army Officer

Boot camp in 1966 wasn’t anything like boot camp today. Instead of focusing on training a lot of time was spent focused on uniforms and making sure women wore nylons. Virginia’s first assignment was in Washington DC. at Andrews AFB She didn’t enjoy it very much but did get to see the President. She then went to learn how to be a journalist. She was embedded with a Seabee unit and got to write and share about the work they were doing.

Leaving the military

Her mother died unexpectedly and she had to leave the military to help take care of her younger siblings. She got married and had a child. She was ready to go back into the military but couldn’t because she was a mom. So, she waited until the law changed and then went back into the Navy. She wanted to eventually become an officer but was unable to finish her bachelor’s before the age cut off for the Navy but was able to become an officer in the Army.

It took a lot of work and a wavier to commission into the Army but she did it. Eventually, her daughters joined the Navy as well. She talked about how she realized how hard it was for her family to support her military career when her daughters were serving.


She retired after a total of 26 years in the military with the rank of major in the Army’s ordnance corps. Both of her also daughters went into the Navy. Her youngest retired after 21 years of military service. She currently serves as the President of the Association of the United States Army in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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