In honor of Women’s Equality Day

Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught, Col. Regina Aune, Chief Master Sgt. Dottie Holmes, Senior Master Sgt. Terri Picarro and Mrs. Margaret Ringenberg answer questions relating to Air Force women from the 1940s to the 1960s during the 2007 Air Force Heritage to Horizon Women's Training Symposium on Oct. 31.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Suzanne M. Day)

Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught, Col. Regina Aune, Chief Master Sgt. Dottie Holmes, Senior Master Sgt. Terri Picarro and Mrs. Margaret Ringenberg answer questions relating to Air Force women from the 1940s to the 1960s during the 2007 Air Force Heritage to Horizon Women's Training Symposium on Oct. 31. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Suzanne M. Day)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Dorothy (Dottie) W. Holmes joined the U.S. Air Force in May 1949 and retired in September 1979. Holmes was the first woman to retire from the U.S. Air Force with 30 years of "all Air Force" service, unlike counterparts with time in service from the Women’s Army Corps.

Holmes did not plan on making the Air Force a career but her love for her assignments and work took her on a three-decade journey across Europe, Puerto Rico, Asia and throughout the U.S. Breaking milestones, she was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1976. There, she indoctrinated the first female cadet flight, where 97 female cadets would successfully graduate in 1980. Her career and disposition embody the same spirit that drove the women who fought for the 19th amendment creating equal rights and privileges for all US citizens regardless of gender.

"My generation invented the wheel," said Holmes. "But now you are responsible for keeping it going."

Today, Holmes volunteers at the 21st Space Wing Retiree Activities Office located in the 21st Mission Support Group building.