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Happy Birthday, Carmen Lozano Dumler!

Second Lieutenant Carmen Maria Lozano Dumler,[note 1] RN, (September 18, 1921 - March 29, 2015), was one of the first Puerto Rican women to become a United States Army officer.

Lozano was born and raised in San Juan, the capital city of Puerto Rico. She lived in a coffee plantation which was managed by her father. She received her primary and secondary education in San Juan and after graduating from high school, she enrolled in the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing where she became a certified nurse in 1943.[1][2][3]

By this time the United States had entered World War II and therefore needed to boost its military capabilities; as a result, the Army ordered Puerto Rico’s 65th Infantry Regiment to full war strength and drafted many Puerto Ricans — even those whose knowledge of English was minimal. The Army recognized the need for bilingual nurses based on a letter to the surgeon general in new York to help the soldiers that returned with wounds. In 1944, the Army sent three WAC (Women’s Army Corps) recruiters to the island to organize a unit of 200 WACs. Over 1,500 women responded to the call and applied. Lozano applied to become an Army nurse and on Aug. 21, 1944, became one of thirteen women to be selected.[1][4]

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