York Town Square

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Add another achiever to the list of York countians with impressive resumes

Sandra Smallwood-Stockton recently retired from the U.S. Army as a lieutenant colonel. To reach that rank, she soldiered through much adversity. Background posts: Pioneering aviator Aline Rhonie another York native who made U.S. headlines and A short test of your York black history knowledge and York County WWII nurse: ‘You know, it was the biggest war ever, and they needed nurses’.

In recent York Town Square posts, we’ve featured:
– York countians who have achieved in the military.
– York County grads who have accomplished much as civilians on the national stage.
– York’s William Penn grads whose work has elevated them to that school’s hall of fame.
Now comes Sandra Smallwood-Stockton – that’s Lt. Col. Sandra Smallwood-Stockton – who attended William Penn but earned her high school degree in Maryland… .

This recent U.S. Army retiree is now part of our growing list of York County achievers. Read Nichole Dobo’s wonderful York Daily Record-Sunday News story (6/29/09) “York native soldiers through tragedy” for much more about her life.
The following chronology, which ran with the newspaper story, indicates what it means for a black woman to reach the rank of lieutenant colonel:

Although it’s no longer rare for a woman to make the rank of lieutenant colonel, it’s something that not many women with a family accomplish, a spokesman for the U.S. Army said. Sandra Smallwood-Stockton, who was, coincidentally, born on Flag Day, retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel, an achievement first earned by a black woman 45 years ago.
Firsts for black women in the military:
1948 – First Lieutenant Nancy C. Leftenant became a member of the Regular Army Nurse Corps.
1951 – Three commissioned as second lieutenants in the Air Force: Edwina Martin of Danville, Va.; Fannie Jean Cotton of Jackson, Mich.; and Evelyn M. Brown of Shreveport, La.
1964 – Margaret E. Bailey, Army Nurse Corps, was promoted to lieutenant colonel.
1970 – Bailey achieved the rank of colonel.
1972 – Mildred C. Kelly became a sergeant major in the Army.
1979 – Brigadier General Hazel W. Johnson-Brown became a general officer and a chief of the Army Nurse Corps.
1995 – Brigadier General Marcelite Harris was promoted to major general in the Air Force.
1997 – U.S. Army Sgt. Danyell Wilson earns the prestigious job of guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. Source: Judith Bellafaire, Ph.D., curator of Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation, Inc.