First African American Woman Brigadier General Speaks In Springfield


On Thursday, members of the Illinois National Guard had the opportunity to listen to Brigadier General Julia Cleckley.

She’s the first African American woman to ever be promoted to brigadier general in the National Guard.

Thursday is the 96th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment which granted women right to vote.

Cleckley spoke to guard members about never taking your rights for granted.

“Everyone should vote, everyone should pay homage to those that have struggled and worked so hard to make things happen,” said Brig. Gen. Julia Cleckley, National Guard.

Cleckley currently serves on the committee for homeless veterans and on the board of the women’s memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.

She was promoted to Brigadier General in 2002.

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