Mary A. Hallaren

More About Mary A. Hallaren

  • Mary A. Hallaren, former director of the Women's Army Corps (WAC), died at 97 from complications of a stroke.
  • In 1948, she became the first woman, aside from medical officers, to join the regular Army after the Women's Armed Services Integration Act.
  • Nicknamed "the Little Colonel," Hallaren led the first battalion of
    women to serve in Europe during WWII and commanded 9,000 WACs in the European theater.
  • She worked with Generals Eisenhower and Marshall to integrate the WAC with the regular Army, and served as WAC director until 1953.
  • Hallaren's military decorations included three Legion of Merit awards, a Bronze Star, and two Army Commendation Medals.
  • After retiring from the Army, she became the first executive
    director of Women in Community Service, a nonprofit agency focused on helping women and children in poverty or at society's margins.
  • Hallaren was a leading advocate for the Women's Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, was elected to the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1996, and featured in Tom Brokaw's book "The Greatest Generation."
  • She had no immediate survivors at the time of her death.