Pearl Ross (Arikara Fort Bethold) joined the Air Force in 1953 and trained as a medical specialist. After serving in an Air Force hospital in Cheyenne, Wyoming and at the Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, during Vietnam, she saw many who were wounded and brought back to the states. She volunteered to go to Vietnam, but the Air Force was hesitant to send women to serve during that time.
Alaska Territorial Guard/Eskimo Scouts
In 1976, women were finally allowed into the Eskimo Scouts, an elite group of servicemembers that patrolled the 5,000 miles of Aleutian coastline and 200,000 miles of tundra to rescue downed U.S. Airmen and defend Alaska. There have been at least 27 Alaskan women members of the ATG since 1976.
Native American Women Warriors – All Female Color Guard (Service in Iraq)
During the 2010 Denver March Powwow, three female Soldiers, who represented the nations of the Crow, Northern Cheyenne and Navajo and headed up by Mitchelene BigMan proudly wore jingle dresses emblazoned with large service back patches and the colors of red, white and blue. They were asked to stand at the end of the line as a special honor to represent those women that had served.
Since that time, the Native American Women Warriors have presented colors at major events to include the inaugural parade of President Barack Obama. Their mission is to bring awareness to the fact “that not all warriors are men, but today – women are also warriors.”
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