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Female Soldiers Share Their Stories for Women’s History Month

 Left: SGM Ferguson at Hawaii Reenlistment (far right); Zannia Carty-McDonald (right).
Photos courtesy of Ferguson, McDonald
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Left: SGM Ferguson at Hawaii Reenlistment (far right); Right: Zannia Carty-McDonald (right).

In celebration of Women's History Month, the US Army Central is sharing stories of its female soldiers. Zannia Carty-McDonald and SGM Mary E. Ferguson share their stories of progression and successes made in male-dominant jobs.

In 1917, Loretta Walsh became the first American woman to officially enlist in the military. It would be a little over three decades later before the United States would permit women to serve as full members of the U.S. armed forces; this was accomplished through the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act in 1948.

Today, the military has never had a higher fraction of women, but women make up just 16 percent of the total force, that’s according to a 2020 Brookings institute study.

In celebration of Women's History Month, the US Army Central is sharing stories of its female soldiers. Zannia Carty-McDonald and SGM Mary E. Ferguson share their stories of progression and successes made in male-dominant jobs.

Zannia Carty-McDonald and SGM Mary E. Ferguson together have served in the military for almost three decades. Carty-McDonald has no active duty experience and refers to herself as a career civilian. She currently serves as a Resource Manager and Budget Advisor under the administrative direction of the Assistant Chief of Staff G8. As senior civilian advisor for resource management for US Army Central, she provides advice and assistance to the Commanding General and other top management officials on all financial matters.

SGM Mary E. Ferguson enlisted in the military in 2004. She currently serves as a Public Affairs Sergeant Major for U.S. Army Central. She advises and assists the command in communicating U.S. Army Central mission and priorities, and its teammates’ stories to internal audiences across the Army and external audiences across the world.

MORE ABOUT US ARMY CENTRAL:

U.S. Army Central is the Army leg of U.S. Central Command, and higher headquarters to eight subordinate organizations. Frequently referred to as "Patton's Own", USARCENT has been on the front lines since 1918. The headquarters resides at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina, and is comprised of some of the Army's most senior and experienced leaders in the force. It is the home of the highest ranking U.S. Army commander in the state of South Carolina, and are located within four hours of seven major military installations in the southeast. In our deployed area of responsibility, we support thousands of Soldiers in combat, security cooperation, and peacekeeping operations across the Middle East and Southwest Asia. Our team embodies the "Total Force", drawing the Army's finest Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, and civilian professionals. USARCENT's continued presence protects U.S. interests and with our partner nations, we collectively promote regional stability and counter emerging threats. We champion the "team of teams" concept and value people, partners, community, and modernization.