Linda Cox was just 18 years old when she wanted to join the Air Force ‚Äì she had no idea she would go on to make history. Out of the more than 40 women who applied to join with her, she became only one of two women chosen to join the Women‚Äôs Air Force (WAF). The traditional roles that women had in the Air Force were clerical work and nursing, other plans were in line for Linda. At the time she was the woman who scored the highest on the mechanical test and so her training began by learning how to operate a printing press.
While she was printing newspapers she began training to become a part of the explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) unit of the Air Force. This was history making in itself ‚Äì she was the first woman to attend the EOD School. While here she learned how to disarm a variety of different munitions, she passed all but one of her exams and she graduated in 1974.
For the next number of years she moved between bases throughout the United States, here she was able to move up the ranks and by 1990 she was a master sergeant and was leading her own bomb squad. At this time, Iraq had invaded Kuwait and the American military was called into action ‚Äì her group were deployed to Saudi Arabia. The following year when war broke out her group was¬†called into action in Kuwait where they searched the area for hidden explosive devices. For her service in Operation Desert Storm she was awarded a Bronze Star.
Linda Cox not only broke the glass ceiling that existed in the military, she shattered it. She showed that gender is irrelevant when it comes to ability. She also forced many people inside, and out, of the military to revaluate their opinions on women‚Äôs roles in the armed forces.
Girl Museum Inc.