US Army Women's Museum - Fort Lee, Virginia
Sherian G. Cadoria
First African-American Female General, 1985
BG Sherian G. Cadoria - Photo Credit: Russel Roederer, US Army Audiovisual Center, Washington, DC.
Promoted to Brigadier General in 1985, Cadoria became the highest ranking black woman in the Army at the time.
Cadoria stated the following about an experience in Vietnam:: "In Vietnam I interviewed for a protocol job. The colonel told me I couldn't do the job, 'You can't travel, you can't carry luggage, it's too heavy. Women can't do this.' And I said, 'Nobody said I couldn't carry those hundred-pound bags of cotton when I was a child.' "By act of Congress, male officers are gentlemen, but by act of God, we are ladies. We don't have to be little mini-men and try to be masculine and use obscene language to come across. I can take you and flip you on the floor and put your arms behind your back and you'll never move again, without you ever knowing that I can do it."
BG Cadoria was born in Marksville, Louisiana, and is a graduate of Southern University A&M College, earning a BS Degree in Business Education. She also earned the MA in Social Work from the University of Oklahoma. She has been asked where the name "Cadoria" came from: "It's a Spanish derivative," she explains. "My ancestral background is mixed with Indian, Mexican, black, white, and Spanish; just like so many of us are mixed. But I'm black."
Cadoria entered the Army in 1961, a direct commission as a First Lieutenant, Women's Army Corps. During her 29 years of service, she served in a variety of positions until her retirement November 30, 1990.
BG Cadoria's decorations and awards include: The Defense Superior Service Medal; Distinguished Service Medal; Bronze Star (with two Oak Leaf Clusters); Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster); Air Medal; Army Commendation Medal (with three Oak Leaf Clusters); and Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge.
Archives of the US Army Women's Museum: Cadoria Papers and Bio.
Return to: Notable Army Women Page