MF144 Women in the Military

Document Type

Oral History

Interviewee name

Deborah Schultz Smith


Sarah Beazley

Interview date


Interview location

Brewer, Maine



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Deborah Smith, interviewed by Sarah Beazley, April 15, 2003, in her home in Brewer, Maine. Smith, age 42-43, talks about her decision to join the Air National Guard; rising through the ranks; her family and friends’ reaction to her enlistment; her current duties in the Air National Guard; her basic training experiences; how basic training affected her self-image; the bonds she formed with other female enlistees; discrimination in the military; changes in the role of women in the military; nursing as a historic profession for women in the military; women organizations in the military; her leisure time; meeting her husband in the military; dating within the military; her various overseas deployments; coping with stress; how her service has shaped her life; whether she would do it all over again; whether she encouraged her daughters to enlist; why she would not recommend women join the Army; lesbians in the military; and following orders against one’s conscience. Text: 17 pp. transcript. Recording: No recording.


Military History | Oral History | United States History | Women's History

Birth date



Brooklyn, New York City, New York

Nation of origin

United States

Home state/Territory

New York





Branch of service

Air National Guard

Service Unit

143rd Rhode Island Air National Guard; 101st Air Refueling Wing, Maine Air National Guard

Dates of service


Date of entry


Service entry


Location of Service

Maryland; Rhode Island; Bangor, Maine

Entry Rank

E-1 Airman Basic

Highest Rank

E-9 Chief Master Sergeant

Exit Rank

E-9 Chief Master Sergeant


Terry Schultz; Mary Schultz; Denis Smith


Brooklyn, New York; Vietnam; Baghdad; Iraq; Maine; Texas; Malcolm Grow Medical Center, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland; Rhode Island; Honduras; Azores, Portugal; Mexico; Italy; France; Germany; England; Saudi Arabia


Women in the Military; Sexism in the Military; Gender equity; Physical training; Military families

Collection name

Women in the Military

Collection number


Item number


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Deborah Smith, interviewed by Sarah Beazley



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