The topic of my group research is the history of women in service. For the data collection analysis, I interviewed Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught, USAF (Retired). She is the President of the Board of Directors of the Women In Military Service For American Memorial Foundation, Inc., which was also one of my prime sources for the literature review. Lieutenant Connell Marilla Cushman USA (Retired) assisted her during the interview. Ms. Cushman is the Director of Development and Public Relations Officer for the foundation. She was extremely helpful in scheduling and arranging the meeting.
The main purpose of this interview was to get extensive information about women in service in relation with the personal and professional experience of Brigadier General Vaught. I expected that the extensive years that she has served in the service would help me to clarify the questions that I had from my literature review. During the interview, Lieutenant Cornell Cushman also helped answering some of the very important question that I had.
Brigadier General Vaught joined in Air force in 1957, and has served for over 28 years. After she retired, she also served as Chairperson of the NATO women in the allied Forces Committee. The questions that I phrased are to get information about Brig Gen Vaught’s personal experience in her career. The questions were arranged from personal question about her and her career to more opinions related questions. The personal questions were to ease out the opinion related questions.
The first question I asked to Brigadier General was how was she convinced to join the Air Force. This question was more focused to build an environment to know the history of women in service. In some way, I was trying to read the mind state of her and generalize with the women in service.
1. Would you tell me something about you, how did you decide to join the military?
Brigadier General Vaught graduated from University of Illinois; she wanted to work in management position. For the women during that time, career options were limited. They could be a nurse, schoolteacher, and a secretary or get married. Vaught was not interested in any of those. She got a job in comptroller type of field. But after five years she could not do it any more, because there was no chance of working in management position where she worked. Then, she received a letter from recruiting company that she could join the Military as Second Lieutenant on the reserves. There she could manage and supervise, which she was longing for.
2. What was the excitement and problem you have faced in the service?
According to Vaught the only problem she faced was during his work in Spain. After working for 11 months in Spain, the Air Force was releasing her early because of her eyesight. For which, she had to talk to Senator of Illinois to work the matter out. One of the reason, as Lieutenant Connell Cushman suggested Vaught might have not faced any problem during her career might because...