army surgeon general

Have you ever thought of a Supercat West Wing au, where Cat is still Cat Grant, CEO of CatCo World Wide Media. She’s going along with her life, kind of just coasting (I mean. Coasting for her), and she’s a bit bored with her life, but there’s not very much she can do to challenge herself at this point—she’s built her empire, she’s made her legacy. But she’s feeling a bit restless, the same restlessness that got her to this point, that drive to be more.

And then one day, someone from her war correspondent days walks into her office, one Hank Henshaw, who saved her life when she was just a rookie war correspondent who knew absolutely nothing, comes to see her. And he’s talking about this New England small time politician he wants her to go see, at some retirement center, and that’s it. He’s never called upon that debt, never used her for political or financial gain. Cat’s just thinking no way is she the real thing, at this point (especially without Sunny Danvers in her life), more than a bit jaded with humanity and pessimistic.

But the man who once saved her life is asking her for a favor, and it’s not power or money or a position of influence. It’s simply to go to this place in Middle of Nowhere, New Hampshire, and hear some imbecile speak. And this is what old friends do for someone who owes a life debt (and maybe she herself is just a little bit hopeful, just a little bit curious. This is someone who has Hank Henshaw’s faith. Henshaw might be the most honorable and decent man she knows—and for someone who’s life’s work is to ferret out secrets, who refuses to keep her head in the sand, that means something).

And then on the way, maybe she stops in New York to visit her old friend Lucy Lane, who’s working for gage whitney, making rich white guys even richer. Both stuck in their ruts, uninspired.

And Lucy tells her to come back if she sees the real thing. Cat gives a bit of a sarcastic laugh and asks her how the hell would she even know—and Lucy tells her she’s seen Cat excited before, truly excited. Lucy will just know.

(and maybe Cat did her background research on her way there—she was a journalist first. Foster child, with a life plagued by tragedy, adopted by one of the state’s oldest families. Some went to college on military scholarship, had a bit of a career as an artist after serving her 4 years of active duty. Single. Spotless record. Very few relationships, married to her work. Cousin’s a journalist, two tattoos, worked as a diplomat after the artistic stint, majored in art and political science, minor in linguistics. Licensed pilot. Polyglot. Sister of Alexandra “Alex” Danvers, former army medic and Surgeon General. Again, she’s Cat Grant—she does her homework)

So Cat goes to that retirement center and is just prepared to have some really mediocre chicken. She’s barely paying attention—she even has a crossword in front of her—even has it be paper, to prove a point that she’s not busy with a work email or something truly important on her phone Nope. It’s a crossword puzzle. And then there’s the question from the dairy farmer—why did she vote on the way she did on those milk subsidies? That hurt a lot of dairy farmers.

And then there’s just this pause before Kara goes, “Yeah. I screwed you on that one.” And Cat’s head just rockets up and she immediately stops what she’s doing because this is something Cat’s never seen. And she watches as this politician explain that the reason that she didn’t do something very politically advantageous—in a state where dairy farms are big, this small tiny state where those votes really do matter—was because she didn’t want children to go hungry. She wanted children to be able to buy milk.

What you are taught in every college political science class, every high school civics class, in every democratic society, the goal of every politician is to be reelected. And yet this is something that won’t score her any political points, will make her lose constituents—she didn’t offer justification, like oh I voted for this because they’d give us better grazing laws, or anything. This was flat out “I did it for starving children. Not for you.”

And just. She’s almost a little bit pissed because goddammit Hank was right, Cat is absolutely  hooked. She’s completely bamboozled and yeah like Josh she’s just in awed shock and she comes into Lucy Lane’s firm, dripping wet, hair a frizzy mess, outfit ruined,—and this is Cat fucking Grant, she never looks anything but pristine, not a hair out of place—just grinning. And Lucy just stops talking to the client about the deal that would have made her a partner, the culmination of her career and everything she’s been working for her entire adult life—and it’s one of the easiest decisions she’s ever made.

And then Winn, drunk off his ass because he thinks he’s going to get fired tonight because he told if she’s asked about her vote against the dairy farmers tonight she should, and only because it’s the easiest thing to remember, tell the truth.

And then Alex comes in and fires everyone but Winn—which Kara protests wildly at because Kara still doesn’t think that she’s actually going to get elected, that she’s just doing to keep her opponent honest and talk about some issues and be very comfortable conceding the race but Alex has been in politics, has plans for Kara and knows that they could go all the way to the White House, Hank as VP for anyone worried about having such a young woman as President, Alex as Chief of Staff. (and there’s a reason Alex has never planned on running for the White House and that’s a)she is horrible at any type of public speeches and b) Sierra Tuscon, drinks, and pills.)

And then Winn goes all the way to California to visit his old friend James (complete with the James falling into his pool scene with the sheer white shirt because I may be gay but I have eyes and EQUALITY). Winn lets James know that. Well. Yeah, you’re right kara’s never heard of you but Alex sure has. And yes, Kara Danvers is a good person. And that’s all it takes for James to pack up from his 500k a year job to the one that pays 600 a week.

And so now Kara has a team of Lucy Lane, Hank Henshaw, Alex Danvers, Winn Schott, James Olsen, and Cat Grant. And she’s worried now, because she was never supposed to win. She’s just there to make her speeches and keep her opponent honest because they may live in a time where a woman could be president and a black man can be VP—but a straight female president. Not a gay one. But Alex was right and they win and they’re off to the White House. So Kara keeps her secret, and hopes (prays) that no one finds out, because she’s been so very careful, not even Alex knows.

And if Kara thinks that Cat Grant is witty and fierce and determined and witty and sarcastic and absolutely radiant? Well, she’ll keep that to herself.

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African American nurses from the US Army Nurse Corps, Fort Bragg, 1941. These women were some of the first black nurses recruited to serve in World War 2.

Although they were fully qualified and prepared to serve within the military nursing community at the onset of World War 2, racial segregation and discrimination lingered. Mabel K. Staupers, the executive secretary of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses, lobbied for a change in the discriminatory policies of the Army Nurse Corps.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt also urged the army surgeon general to recruit black nurses for service in the Army Nurse Corps. The Army complied, but it did so unwillingly. So in 1941, the Army Nurse Corps began accepting African American nurses and due to a quota system, only a small number (56) were allowed to join. By April 1941, 48 were assigned to Camp Livingston, Louisiana and Fort Bragg, North Carolina, living under Jim Crow segregation in separate barracks and facilities. Initially, they were only allowed to nurse black soldiers and German POW’s.

In May 1943, 183 African American nurses held commissions in the Army Nurse Corps and represented approximately 0.6% of the total strength of the Corps. By the conclusion of World War 2, nearly 600 had served, putting themselves in harm’s way to care for patients in all theaters of the war including Africa, Burma, Australia, and England.

(photos from our private collection, all are from the same film roll dated ‘41)

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Girls&WomenToKnow: Lt. Gen. Nadja West.

Thursday, December 17th history was made when Senate confirmed Lt. Gen. Nadja Y. West as the new Army Surgeon General and Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Command. This makes West the Army’s first black Surgeon General. Aside from being appointed as the 44th Army Surgeon General, she picked up a third star to become the Army’s first black female to hold the rank of lieutenant general. West is also highest ranking woman to have graduated from the United States Military Academy.

Education: Dr West holds a Bachelors Degree in Engineering from the United States Military Academy, And a Doctorate of Medicine from George Washington University School of Medicine.

What do you guys think of this woman? Did you know of her before this post? 

We love learning about black women no matter what field they are in, so if you know one let us know.


-Pierre