After graduating from the Army ROTC program at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, Linda Bray was commissioned into the Army in June of 1983.
Her first assignment was with the 556th Military Police Company in West Germany from 1983 to 1987. She then attended the Military Police Officer Advanced Course and Provost Marshal training at Fort McClellan before serving as a training officer and then as a personnel officer at Fort Benning, Georgia.
From 1989-1990 with the rank of Captain, Bray became the Commanding Officer of the 988th Military Police Company at Fort Benning. As she took over, she also deployed with the Company to Panama for Operation Just Cause. It was there that she became the first woman to command American soldiers in battle– a position that prompted reevaluation of women’s roles in the military and recognition of their capabilities.
“I joined the Army for the excitement, the challenge, the experience and loyalty to my country,” Bray stated, according to the New York Times. “I haven’t been let down a day.”
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