Private Cathay Williams was the only woman to serve in the US Army as a Buffalo Soldier. On November 15, 1866 she enlisted in the Army as a man. Williams reversed her name William Cathay and lived as a male soldier and served until she was found out due to the last of many illnesses she suffered while in service. She is the only documented black woman known to have served in the Army during these times when enlisting women was prohibited
Charity Adams, the first African American commissioned officer in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1942. She served in the Army for four years and held the rank of Lt. Colonel at the time of her release from active duty.