First Sergeant Major & Command Sergeant Major Women's Army Corps


CSM Carolyn James Sergeant Major Carolyn James

SGM Carolyn James

The Military Pay Bill of 1958, effective 1959, added grades E-8 and E-9 to the enlisted ranks; authorized monthly Proficiency Pay (P1 - $50, P2 - $100, P3 - $150); one year of college for a 3 year enlistment; two years for a 6 year enlistment; MOS Proficiency Testing and the Enlisted Evaluation System.

After this law was passed in 1959, Carolyn H. James became the first in the Women's Army Corps (WAC) promoted to grade E-8.  Therefore, she was the first WAC promoted to master sergeant (or first sergeant).  In 1960, she was the first WAC promoted to sergeant major, E-9, while assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Army Air Defense Command, Colorado Springs.



CSM Yzetta L. Nelson

The first NCO to hold the rank of E-9 as Sergeant Major at the Pentagon in the office of the Director WAC (ODWAC) was Florence M. Tait, promoted November 1965.

The WAC Training Battalion building at the WAC Center, Fort McClellan, was named in honor of a sergeant major, SGM Florence G. Munson.  It was one of two buildings on that Post named after a woman and the only one named in honor of a WAC.

On 30 March 1968, SGM Yzetta L. Nelson, assigned to the WAC Training Battalion, became the first WAC promoted to the rank of command sergeant major.      On 31 July, the sergeant major of WAC Center,      Elaine I. Slewitzke, became the second WAC to achieve the rank.

  CSM Yzetta Nelson and CSM Curtis Ramsay        







      CSM's, Yzetta l. Nelson and Curtis S. Ramsay,  April 1968.