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WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator John Boozman recognized the service and sacrifice of Chief Warrant Officer (retired) Pamela Huff in ‘Salute to Veterans,’ a series recognizing the military service of Arkansans.

Huff graduated from Little Rock’s Hall High School in 1975. Her cousin was interested in enlisting for the Army National Guard and convinced Huff to join her.   

“Believe it or not I signed up for not only the Arkansas Army National Guard but I also signed up for the Air Force, so I said whichever one calls me the first, that’s the way I’m going,” Huff said. 

Huff and her cousin went to basic training for the Army National Guard in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Unfortunately, Huff’s cousin had medical issues that prevented her from completing the training.

Following basic training, Huff was assigned to Fort Sam Houston, Texas for Advanced Individual Training (AIT) as a dental technician. She used these skills in an Arkansas dentist’s office for a few years before changing careers. Huff was encouraged to explore full-time job opportunities with the Arkansas Army National Guard, something she didn’t know existed.

“I applied for a job at Camp Robinson with Combined Support Maintenance Service,” Huff recalled. “The job announcement actually said ‘black hire only.’ All of that was explained to me because of a discrimination suit, so lucky for me that I applied at that time, so I was hired.” She became the second woman to join the department.

Huff was inspired to become an officer. She chose to pursue the track of a warrant officer and along the way broke barriers. While she worked toward achieving this rank, ultimately becoming the first female in the Arkansas Army National Guard to obtain the rank of Chief Warrant Officer Five (CW5), she also became the first black female noncommissioned officer (NCO) instructor at the NCO academy. 

During her assignment with the 119th Personnel Service Company, she learned that her unit would be mobilized for the Gulf War with the possibility of deployment to Iraq. In preparation for deployment, Huff was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Instead of deploying overseas, she operated the mobilization station at Fort Sill.  “At the mobilization station, you do everything from A to Z,” Huff said. For her work, she was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. 

Huff retired earlier this year with more than 40 years of military service.

“I am grateful for Pamela Huff’s dedication and service to our nation. Her memories of military service are an important part of our history and I am pleased to be able to collect and preserve her stories,” Boozman said. 

Boozman will submit Huff’s entire interview to the Veterans History Project, an initiative of the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center to collect and retain the oral histories of our nation’s veterans.