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NEWS | March 26, 2024

Army Reserve Ambassador highlights female Army trailblazers

By Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris 99th Readiness Division

The U.S. Army Reserve’s 99th Readiness Division hosted a Women’s History Month “Lunch & Learn” event March 19 highlighting the U.S. Army’s 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion.

The “Six Tripple Eight” was the first-and-only all-Black, all-female Army unit to deploy overseas during World War II. It consisted of 855 women under the command of Lt. Col. Charity Adams, the first African-American woman commissioned in the Women’s Army Corps.

“For the 2024 observance of Women’s History Month, the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute announced the theme of this year’s observance, ‘Women Who Have Made Great Achievements,’ in recognition of the countless contributions women have made in creating a positive opportunity for a bright future,” explained Stephen Harlan, 99th RD command historian.

The event featured a presentation entitled, “The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion: Achieving greatness with Courage, Dignity & Devotion,” crafted and narrated by retired Army colonel and current U.S. Army Reserve Ambassador Edna Cummings of Maryland.

Several years ago, Cummings was a driving force in efforts that led to President Joe Biden signing the “Six Triple Eight” Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2021, which warded the Congressional Gold Medal to members of the 6888th.

“The ‘Six Triple Eight’ is now the only women’s military unit to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal,” said Cummings during a June 15, 2021, event at the Military Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. “Since the American Revolution, Congress has commissioned Gold Medals as its highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions. Since 1776, less than 200 Congressional Gold Medals have been awarded.”

The 99th RD has history with the “Six Triple Eight” dating back to 2020. On Jan. 19 of that year, a representative from the 99th RD’s Directorate of Human Resources presented a certificate of recognition to Sgt. Hilda P. Griggs of the “Six Triple Eight” during a Martin Luther King Jr. event at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.

The following month, the 99th RD commanding general presented a Meritorious Unit Citation to Griggs during the division’s Black History Month celebration at its headquarters here.