Trailblazer Filipino American Women Veterans Make History

March is Women’s History Month

Throughout the U.S. military history, many Asian immigrants to the United States enlisted and served alongside their counterparts all the way back to the Civil War. More importantly, many women started to formally enlist in the early 20th century to become part of the growing strength of the U.S. Armed Forces and some of that small number include Filipino American women.

FYP-DC remembers all the women who have served in the military and honors those who are still currently serving our nation.


Rear Admiral Bette Bolivar

Photo Credit: U.S. Navy

Babette Bolivar

Babette “Bette” Bolivar was born in Hawaii and raised in various locations in the Western Pacific by Filipino parents Ted Cereno Bolivar, from Camarines Sur and Virginia Dolor of Pangasinan. Her father Ted retired as a U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer. She graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in oceanography. She also holds a Master of Science in management from Troy University. She was also inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame.

In the first woman-to-woman transfer of command of U.S. Navy Region Southeast, Rear Admiral Bolivar assumed command from Rear Admiral Mary M. Jackson in a ceremony February of 2017. As the current Commander of Navy Region Southeast, she is the regional commander and immediate superior in command, and manages and oversees shore installation management support and execution for 18 installations within Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Cuba.

References:


Vice Admiral Raquel C. Bono

Photo Credit: U.S. Navy

Raquel C. Bono

Commissioned in June 1979, Vice Admiral Raquel Bono obtained her baccalaureate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and attended medical school at Texas Tech University.

Shortly after training, she saw duty in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm as head, Casualty Receiving, Fleet Hospital 5 in Saudi Arabia from August 1990 to March 1991. Her other duties include being a surgeon and head of commands in various Navy locations.

In September 1999, she was assigned as the director of Restorative Care at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. She currently serves as director of Defense Health Agency (DHA) in Falls Church, VA. The Director of DHA oversees a joint, integrated Combat Support Agency that enables the Army, Navy and Air Force medical services to provide a medically ready force and ready medical force to Combatant Commands in both peacetime and wartime. The DHA supports the delivery of integrated, affordable, and high quality health services to Military Health System (MHS) beneficiaries and is responsible for driving greater integration of clinical and business processes across the MHS.

Bono is a diplomat of the American Board of Surgery and has an Executive MBA from the Carson College of Business at Washington State University.

References:


Florence Ebersole Finch

Florence Finch in an undated photograph. She enlisted with the Coast Guard after working for the Philippine resistance and aiding the Americans in World War II. Credit United States Coast Guard

Florence Ebersole Smith Finch

(more…)