ANA Hall of Fame Inductee
Julia Catherine Stimson was the first woman to receive the rank of major in the United States Army. She earned this distinction in 1920 while superintendent of the Army Nurse Corps. When Congress amended the National Defense Act in that year, giving members of the Army Nurse Corps relative rank, the head of the corps received the rank of major.
Stimson had served in the Army Nurse Corps during World War I. In 1918, less than a year after her arrival in Europe, she was assigned as chief nurse of the American Red Cross. In France, seven months later, she became director of nursing services of the American Expeditionary Forces in France. She returned to the U.S. in 1919 and became dean of the Army School of Nursing and Superintendent of the Army Nurse Corps, positions she held until 1932. After full commissioned rank was granted to army nurses, Stimson, a former president of the American Nurses Association, was promoted to the rank of colonel six weeks before her death.