Sending Office: Honorable Ann M. Kuster
Cosponsors: Kuster, Walorski, Brooks
The first woman to achieve the rank of general officer in the U.S. military, Anna Mae Hays, passed away earlier this year after helping pave a path for women to achieve high ranks in the military and strengthening the defense of our nation.
Hays’ service spanned three wars. In WWII, the volunteer Army nurse shipped out to Assam, India, where she helped amputate limbs and save lives inside surgery rooms built from bamboo. When the Korean War broke out, Hays landed under naval bombardment and
helped to set up one of the first military hospitals in Inchon, South Korea. During the Vietnam War, Hays traveled to military facilities in the country on three occasions to oversee a drastic increase in the number of nurses deployed abroad and help modernize
Hays became the first woman to earn the rank of general officer, when she was promoted to brigadier general on June 11, 1970. During her tenure as a high-ranking officer, Hays advocated for policies that have since helped other women build a career in the
Significant Contributions of Anna Mae Hays
- Ending Pregnancy Discharges: Hays helped pushed through maternity leave for female officers and repeal a policy that ended the career of pregnant service members.
- Women With Young Children: Hays recommended the removal of a policy that barred women with young children from joining the Army Nurse Corps reserve.
- Educational Opportunity: Hays convinced the Army to spend money on the education of nurses, increasing opportunities for women to obtain degrees.
- Legacy: Hays worked tirelessly on behalf of Army nurses — relieving nursing shortages, bettering the status of and gaining greater peer recognition up until her retirement after more than 29 years of service in 1971.
For more information or to cosponsor the Resolution Recognizing the Life and Legacy of Anna Mae Hays, please contact Kevin Diamond (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Thomas Himes (email@example.com) in Rep. Ann McLane Kuster’s office.
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