Unsung Heros


The Heroes Educational lesson/theme focuses on women as combatants in the military dating back to the American Revolution. This theme emphasizes “Molly Pitcher,” who picked up arms during the Revolutionary War; Leigh Ann Hester, who was awarded the Silver Star for actions in combat in Iraq; and the evolution of women in the military as combatants. The college curriculum associated with this theme will introduce academic tools and readings that will offer more detail with reference to the more than 400 women who disguised themselves as men and served during the American Civil War; the evolution and roles of women in the military as combatants from the post-Civil War to the Vietnam War (All-Volunteer Force) era, and end with the 1991 Gulf War. Heroes set the foundation for the “In the Line of Fire” Lesson.

Leigh Ann Hester, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester served in the Army National Guard and became the first woman to receive the Silver Star for valor since World War II. In Iraq she ran toward the enemy trench line and engaged in a 45-minute firefight.
Nicole Malachowski, Lt. Colonel, U.S. Air Force
Lieutenant Colonel Nicole Malachowski was the first female pilot to fly with the Thunderbirds. As a combat pilot, she flew 26 missions in an F-15, providing air-to-ground cover for troops fighting in Iraq.
Elizabeth Norman, Ph.D., Historian, Teacher and Author
Elizabeth Norman, Ph.D., is a historian, teacher and best-selling author who has spent her career telling the stories of nurses and female soldiers during war. Her books include: Women in War: The Story of Fifty Nurses Who Served in Vietnam.
Francoise Bonnell, Ph.D., Director, U.S. Army Women’s Museum, Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army, (Ret)
Francoise Bonnell, Ph.D., is the director of the U.S. Army Women's Museum at Fort Lee, Virginia. She is an author and a recognized authority in women’s military history.
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