It was the GI Bill that sold her parents on joining the Army because she was not yet 21 years old and still needed her parents’ signatures for her to enlist. 

Her military career started September 1971, Fort McClellan, Alabama. Paula graduated from basic training a Distinguished Military Graduate, completed advanced individual training a clerk typist/71B, and was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where she was selected Soldier of the Month, was one of the first women to attend the NCO Academy (Distinguished Military Graduate), and attained the rank Specialist 5/E-5, and MOS 71L/Administrative Specialist. 

In 1975, she enrolled in the University of Connecticut ROTC program with the first class of female cadets, was the first female veteran ROTC cadet at UCONN. Commissioned July 1977 an Army Second Lieutenant, Medical Service Corps. 

Assignments included Letterman Army Medical Center, San Francisco, California; Fort Lewis, Washington; Helena, Montana; Guyana South America; Los Alamitos, California; Fort Douglas, Utah; Saint Louis, Missouri and Washington, D.C. She retired in 2005 a Lieutenant Colonel, with 32 years (22 years active duty), and earned four Meritorious Service Medals among her military awards. 

She married LTC Charles Stephenson. They continue to “Still Serve America” with The American Legion. 

We honor you, Paula Stephenson.

(Submission by: Ninzel Rasmuson via Utah Honor Flight, Mission 33)