The desire to serve her country, coupled with a strong sense of duty, are key reasons Maj. Katherine Threadgill decided to join the U.S. Army nearly 25 years ago. Threadgill is commander of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment. She serves alongside more than 200K other women in active duty who recently celebrated the 75th Anniversary of Women in the Armed Forces.
Seventy-five years ago in 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, paving the way for women to legally serve in the U.S. military in a number of official capacities.
“Celebrating women in the Armed Forces is essential to promoting diversity and inclusion, empowering women and inspiring future generations. By doing so, we create a more inclusive and effective military while fostering a society that values equality and opportunities for all,” Threadgill said.
As the HHD commander, Threadgill is responsible for 169 Soldiers, including 67 officers, six warrant officers and 68 non-commissioned officers. She was commissioned from the University of Houston, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 2009.
Women have been instrumental in supporting military efforts throughout U.S. history. Approximately 3K women served as nurses for the Union Army during the Civil War. During World War I, women were translators and accountants, and they operated switchboards. Military departments accelerated recruitment of women in 1973, when the draft was replaced by an all-volunteer force. Two years later, the Military Service Academies welcomed their first class of women cadets and midshipmen. For the first time in 1976, women entered the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and 55 of the 81 who entered graduated. This year, 267 women graduated from the Naval Academy.
“I joined the Army for the education and training benefits, and for adventure and travel. By joining the Army, I had a chance to experience new environments and travel to different parts of the world, including the Republic of Korea. I always had a strong sense of duty to serve others, which includes serving the United States of America,” Threadgill said.
Prior to her role at DEVCOM, Threadgill was a force management officer at the U.S. Army Central Command, Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina. Her team was responsible for developing, reconciling and authenticating Requests for Forces and Force Tracking Numbers to support operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The U.S. Army Central Command and other assigned and allocated forces received the Meritorious Unit Commendation for their support of the Retrograde Operation in Afghanistan, Operation Allies Refuge, and Operation Allies Welcome.
Threadgill notes that Soldiers embody the U.S. Army Values and Warriors Ethos, along with these key traits: discipline and teamwork.
“The ability to work effectively as part of a team is crucial because we must be able to collaborate, communicate and support fellow Soldiers and leaders to achieve shared goals in support of the mission,” Threadgill said.
During a ceremony at the Pentagon June 12, 2023, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said, “Women’s service has made our military stronger…and that’s worth celebrating today. And it is yet another spur to drive us all to make even more progress as we go forward together. Let’s renew our resolve to make our military even stronger, more capable, and more just for all of the brave patriots who raise their hands to serve our great country.”
The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, known as DEVCOM, is home to thousands of Army scientists, engineers, technicians and analysts working around the globe to leverage cutting-edge technologies and empower the American warfighter with the data and abilities to see, sense, make decisions and act faster than our adversaries – today and in the future.
As part of Army Futures Command, DEVCOM takes calculated risks to find new technological solutions each day. Our experts drive innovation, improve existing technologies and engineer solutions to technical challenges. Our work goes beyond theory to simulation and prototyping. We take potential science and technology solutions from the lab “into the dirt” for experimentation alongside Army Soldiers. DEVCOM prides itself as a global ecosystem of innovators, from world-class universities and large defense contractors, to small, minority-owned businesses and international allies and partners.