Charity Adams Earley (1918-2002) advanced the role of African American women in the military and this Veteran’s Day we honor her service and lifelong, inspirational achievements.
She was a leader who paved the way for women in the military.
During World War II, Charity Adams Earley served in the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC, which later became just WAC, the Women’s Auxiliary Corp.) leading the first African American women’s unit on an overseas tour of duty. She joined after graduating high school (as valedictorian) and earning a college degree from Wilburforce University. At the WAAC, she worked her way up to staff training officer, then commanding officer of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion and was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1945. By the end of the war, she was the highest ranking African American woman.
She was a role model committed to education, career, and giving back.
After leaving the military, she earned a Masters from Ohio State and studied German and Psychology in Switzerland, served as a registration officer for Cleveland’s Veteran’s Administration and worked in academia. Throughout her life, she gave back to her Ohio community, sitting on the board of Dayton’s American Red Cross, and founding the Black Leadership Development Program (in 1982) to train African Americans to be community leaders.
She is widely recognized as an agent of change.
Charity Adams Earley was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame in 1979, and the Smithsonian Institution ranks her as one of the 100 most important black women in history. She represents the spirit of Luma Wealth and our goal to learn, connect and celebrate women. We value her contributions and honor her service.
Sources: Charity Earley, National Women’s History Museum, United States Army Women of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion