Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Moment

No Special Treatment

No Special Treatment

More From Pat

In this video

Tagged as

Foote describes why she had to make sure male army commanders didn't offer women soldiers special treatment.

Pat's Biography

First Job: Sales clerk at GC Murphy five and dime store in Washington, D.C.
Best Weapon:  A good sense of humor to get through challenges.  “If you don't laugh, you cry and I'd rather laugh.”
Greatest Influence Never Met: Eleanor Roosevelt
Causes of Choice: Army Women’s Foundation; Alliance for National Defense

Brigadier General Evelyn “Pat” Foote is a retired U.S. Army general. Her groundbreaking achievements include being the first female Deputy Inspector General of the Army, being the first female brigade commander in Europe, being the first female faculty member of the U.S. Army War College, and being the first female commander of Fort Belvoir, Virginia. She is a champion for women’s advancement in the armed forces and extinguishing sexual assault and harassment within its ranks.
 
Foote was born in 1930, in Durham, North Carolina. She graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in sociology, working her way through college, in part, as a file clerk for the FBI. After graduating, she held a series of jobs in Washington, DC, including again at the FBI, at the Washington Daily News, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Grayline Sightseeing. Continually frustrated by the glass ceilings and pay discrepancies in these positions, she joined the Women’s Army Corps at the age of 29, lured by the equal pay for men and women.
 
Foote rose through the ranks and, in 1967, she was sent to Vietnam to be the first female public relations officer in Saigon. During her thirty-year career she commanded at the company, battalion, brigade, and major installation levels. She lobbied hard for the recruitment of greater numbers of women into the armed forces after the draft ended in the 1970s, and commanded one of the first sex integrated training battalions. In 1986, she became one of only four female generals in the Armed Forces.
 
Ever since her retirement in 1989, General Foote has stayed involved in military life as an advisor, non-profit board member, and public speaker. She was temporarily called back to duty in 1996, to serve as the Vice Chair on the Army’s Senior Review Panel on Sexual Harassment. She was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the American Battle Monument Commission and served on the original committee charged with the site selection, architectural competition and construction of the National World War II Memorial on the National Mall. In 1998, she became the founding president, now President Emerita, of the Alliance for National Defense, a non-profit formed to be a reasoned voice for women serving in the armed forces. She also serves on board of the Army Women’s Foundation and is a founding member of the National World War II Memorial Foundation.

Related Videos

Claudia Chan
Claudia Chan
Entrepreneur and Journalist

Claudia Chan is the founder of ClaudiaChan.com, a for-purpose media brand that brings women’s empowering stories to one place. ClaudiaChan.com was launched in March 2012, 12 ...

Elizabeth Gore
Elizabeth Gore
Activist & Cause Marketer

Elizabeth Gore grew up working on her family's cattle ranch in Texas. Now the Vice President of Global Partnerships for the United Nations Foundation, she is currently managing...

Lauri Burns
Lauri Burns
Teen Advocate

Lauri Burns is founder of the Teen Project, a non-profit organization that provides support for teens transitioning out of foster care. Having grown up in turmoil and abuse, Burns ...

Val Demings
Val Demings
First Female Chief of Police, Orlando, FL

Val Demings’ parents—her mother a maid and her father a janitor—never graduated from high school, but they instilled in their daughter the message that Demings co...