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A Debt and a Date

May 15, 2014 | Captain Hannah He

Today is the 73rd anniversary of the signing of the bill that created the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, established to permit women to have an auxiliary status in the Army during WWII. One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from the address by Oveta Culp Hobby, the first director of the WAAC, to the first officer candidate class:

"You have just made the change from peacetime pursuits to wartime tasks. From the individualism of civilian life to the anonymity of mass military life. You have given up comfortable homes, highly paid positions, leisure. You have taken off silk and put on khaki. And all for essentially the same reason - you have a debt and a date. A debt to democracy, a date with destiny."

I remember reading this quote on this day five years ago, right before I took my oath as a commissioned officer in the Army. At the time I didn't know if I wanted to commit twenty years of my life to serving in the Army, but the past five years have gone by in a blink. 

Here's what my Army life looks like right now:

- I'm writing this in the library while I finish my last assignment for law school, my current assignment as a FLEP student

- My husband and I have been living apart for 11 months, part deployment and, after his return, his assignment in Georgia. He'll be ETSing this summer though, and moving here with me while I finish school

- My little brother Sam also decided to join the Army and is currently at Fort Hood

- I'm also getting ready to spend a super-fun summer working at the SJA office at Fort Meade

So, five years went by much faster than I thought they would, I've had amazing experiences I never thought I would (stuck in the woods in the middle of Ft Benning in the rain at 3am?), I've had the opportunity to pursue my passion at law school, and I've met the most amazing people. Here's to the next fifteen years (or more). 


army history, WAC


  • James Arnold
    5/17/2014 9:56 AM
    Congratulations Captain on your 5 years with the US Army! And also congratulations to all women who gave up their personal freedoms to accept "the debt of democracy and a date with destiny!"
    My family has served in all branches of the US military for almost as long as the Country has existed and we still believe we, individually, owe our Country a debt for the freedoms we continue to enjoy.
    Great success, Captain ! And good luck in law school and the remainder of your time in the army.
  • Kadejah
    5/17/2014 10:20 AM
    I wanna look into joining but I have a babygirl thats fixing to turn 2 ? Any suggestions
  • yasir arafat
    5/25/2014 12:26 AM
    Khadija u can adjust it where r u frm?
  • Amber Bush
    7/3/2014 10:47 AM
    Hello Captain Hannah. I have a quick question. How hard is it being away from your husband? I have a boyfriend who just graduated high school and he joined the Marines Reserves and is leaving for basic training in August. I am about to turn 17 in August, and I am a senior in high school. I want to join the Army and become a nurse and go active duty. I want to set up an appointment after New Years to give myself time to think and make sure this is what I want. I know this will be difficult, do you have any advice for me? Also, thank you for serving for our country and congratulations on your many accomplishment and good luck (: Thank you, Amber

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