Between 1980 and 2008, 3,245 women graduated from West Point and have served selflessly in the Nation’s armed forces. Most of them, whether or not they still wear the uniform, are ordinary women with extraordinary stories of perseverance and integrity. They are soldiers and wives, mothers and daughters. They are doctors, lawyers, teachers, clergy and entrepreneurs. They are athletes and artists, cancer survivors and coaches. And they are all volunteers.
This inaugural weekly series, “Honored Role” of West Point women graduates introduces a group of role models who are ordinary women, not celebrities, who have extraordinary stories to share of their journeys of perseverance and integrity. While the women portrayed in the Porcelain on Steel blog and in the book Porcelain on Steel: Women of West Point’s Long Gray Line share a common education and developmental experience at West Point and as Army officers, they have chosen varied paths in and out of the Army.
Research by psychologist Dr. Penelope Lockwood concluded that women need role models more than men, and women also benefit more than men from having same-gender examples of success. Imagining one’s own potential is more difficult for young women who lack role models. For many young people of both genders, the journey of developing one’s potential often begins with an understanding of what is possible. Possibilities are revealed by meaningful role models, both in and out of military uniform.
For most of these women, West Point and their experiences in the Army have served as a launching pad that allowed them to make significant contributions to their communities.
- Odessa Maxwell — An inner journey looking outward
- Becky Kanis – Armed Service and Social Service
- Maj. Stephanie Ahern – Solider, Scholar, and Mother
- Jenn Boggs – US Soldier Turned UN Peacekeeper
- Liet. Col. Hae-Sue Park – Getting out of the Comfort Zone
- Maj. Mindy Kimball – Shooting for Stars
- 1st Lt. Aubrey McCary – Shades of Gray
- Col. Terry Walters, MD – Navigating Unchartered Waters
- Beth Carpenter – Bridge to Bridge
- Sue Fulton – Hallowed Words
- Lt. Col. Jen G. Buckner – In the Long Run
- Sister Teresa Hougnon – Faith Forged in Conflict
- Capt. Raven Bukowski – Planting the Seeds of Service
- Hannah Clifford – From the DMZ to VC, Frontline Leadership
- Paula Broadwell – Arc of a Driver
- Col. (ret.) Crissy Gayagas – In Balance
- Maj. Candice O’Brien – One Step at a TIme
- 2nd. Lt. Taneshina Wright – Body and Mind
- Lt. Col. (ret.) Angela Lungu – A Leap into the Unknown
- Capt. Jana Fajardo – New Starts
- Col. (ret.) Debra Lewis – Actions Matter Most
- Valencia de la Vega – Brains in a Bikini
- Capt. Kelly Peyton Howard – Yoga’s Warrior Pose Mind, Body & Spirit Connection
- Abby Griffin – The Call of Nursing
- Nina Barnhart- When is Looking Good, Bad?
 Lockwood, Penelope. (2006). “Someone like me can be successful”: Do college students need same-gender role models? Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30, 36-46.