First Female Chief of Signal
MG Janet E. A. Hicks
Maj. Gen. Hicks, the post's first female commanding general, is currently in charge of Augusta Preparatory Day School's Upper School.
Brig. Gen. Janet Hicks's original career goal more than two decades ago didn't include becoming Fort Gordon's first female commander.
In fact, she said she was more interested in getting out of Iowa and seeing the world.
Brig. Gen. Hicks made her way through the ranks of the Signal Corps, first as a student at Fort Gordon, then an instructor at the post and from 1999 to 2000, its Chief of Staff, before making her way to Camp H.M. Smith in Hawaii as the Director of Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems.
At the time of her nomination to major general, Brig. Gen. Hicks was one of 14 female generals in the Army and one of three commanding a major installation. General Hicks was quoted as saying the roles of women in the Army have grown dramatically since she entered the military in 1975. She further said, "Thirty years ago, most women had either nursing positions or administrative positions in field units."
Women did go into war zones, she said, but most held administrative positions, and until 1974, women attending the Women Officer's Orientation Course at Fort McClellan, Ala., did not even wear fatigues. In today's Army, she said, women are in a variety of positions, but not in every part of the Army. "There are still combat arms branches, such as infantry and armor, which exclude women," General Hicks said.
Women still serve throughout the Army, though, and often in harm's way, including serving in support roles in the Signal Corps, logistics and air defense artillery and in other branches of the military, she said. "Women are very much a part of the entire battlefield and must be expected to carry a rifle, defend a position, conduct tactical road marches and vehicle convoys - as do their (male) counterparts," General Hicks said.
As the number of military women grows, there will be more opportunities for them to move up into senior positions in the Army.
- HOMETOWN: Des Moines, Iowa
- 1975: Entered the Army
- EARLY 1980s: Student at Fort Gordon
- 1981-85: Post instructor at Fort Gordon
- FEBRUARY 1985-JUNE 1988: Served at Fort Richardson, Alaska
- JANUARY 1989-APRIL 1992: Served as communications officer J-6 for United States Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida
- JUNE 1997-JUNE 1999: Commanded the 516th Signal Brigade and was deputy chief of staff for information management at Fort Shafter in Hawaii
- JUNE 1999-JUNE 2000: Chief of Staff at Fort Gordon
- JUNE 2000-JULY 2002: Director of U.S. Pacific Command's command, control, communications and computer systems
- AUG. 7, 2002: Assumed command as the first female commanding general at Fort Gordon
- MAY 2003: Nominated for promotion to major general, subject to Congressional approval