Former U.S. Secretary of the Army
Pat Foote was born in 1930 in Durham, North Carolina. She attended Wake Forest University. Foote took a job at the FBI to save money for tuition. She graduated in 1953 with a degree in psychology and Spanish. At 29, Foote discovered the Women's Army Corps (WAC) and became a first lieutenant in 1959. She served in various roles during her 29-year career, including training WAC troops and commanding the Women's Army Corps at Fort Belvoir. Foote went to Vietnam as part of the Adjutant General's Corps, where she worked in public relations and was promoted to major. Upon her return, she contributed to the preparation for the increasing number of women joining the Army. Foote made history by becoming the first woman faculty member at the U.S. Army War School, trained as a military police officer, and commanded the 42nd Military Police Brigade, leading both men and women. Foote's accomplishments continued as she became the first woman brigade commander in Europe and the first woman inspector general in the Army. In 1986, she was promoted to brigadier general and later took command of Fort Belvoir, where she had previously commanded the only company available for a woman to lead. Throughout her career, Foote focused on recruiting women and improving opportunities for them in the military. She retired in 1989 but returned to active duty in 1996 as the vice chair of the Secretary of the Army's Senior Review Panel on Sexual Harassment. Foote provided recommendations and conducted research on addressing the issue. After retiring from active duty, Foote served on the board for the Women's Memorial and contributed to planning the World War II Memorial. She also served as the president of the Alliance for National Defense, representing women in the military on various issues from 1998 to 2007.
"If you have the will, the desire, the passion, to pursue a particular career, then you should go for it with all guns blazing."