The Milwaukee Times Celebrates Women in the Military

March 18, 2021

Major Michele Carter
U.S. Army Reserve &
National Guard

Major Michele Carter served her country through the Army Reserve AND THEN in the Army National Guard. Now firmly entrenched in her civilian career as the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program Chief at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), US Army veteran Michele Carter served 23 years of enlisted and commissioned military service in the US Army Reserve and National Guard. She retired as a Major in the Chemical Corps in 2008. During her military career, Michele received more than ten awards for exemplary service and distinguished achievement including the Army Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and numerous Army Achievement Medals.

Staff Sergeant Lisa Cross
U.S. Army Reserve

Serving her country for 16 years, Army Staff Sergeant Lisa C. Cross joined the United States Army Reserve in high school in 1980. She received a Bronze Star in 1991 for acts of meritorious service in a combat zone. Artistically accomplished, personable and confident, she served as the only soldier with advanced Auto CAD training and Special Background Investigation clearances during her tour of duty. Now as a civilian and devoted member of the National Association for Black Veterans, Inc., for more than 10 years, Lisa assists other veterans as she volunteers in her local community. Beneficiaries of her selfless service included the Center for Veterans Issues, Ltd., Common Ground. She enjoys seeing people prosper. Lisa even wrote to President Barack Obama suggesting ideas to better the United States of America, to which he responded in writing.

Major Dorothy Greer
U.S. Army

Presently a Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) clinical nurse instructor for the Licensed Practical Nurse Program, retired Army Major Dorothy Greer entered the United States Army Reserve as a direct commissioned officer because she has an associate degree in nursing. Her 24 years of military service garnered an Army Commendation Medal, four Army Reserve Components Achievement Medals, two National Defense Service Medals, an Armed Forces Reserve Achievement Medal, an Army Service Ribbon, and two Overseas Service Ribbons. As a civilian, Dorothy has also served as a nurse for the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department. Dorothy is the widow of turner and wood artisan Calvin Greer. She has two sons, Calvin Ashanti Greer, who is married to Kimberly Greer; and Christopher Greer, along with 6 grandchildren.

Corporal Michelle Lipsey
U.S. Marine Corps

Retired with the rank of Corporal in the United States Marine Corps, Michelle D. Smith Lipsey is now Administrative Assistant to the Clerk of Court for the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin. This position reflects her accumulated wealth of experience, values and dedication to excellence. The Milwaukee native graduated from Riverside University High School in 1988 and enlisted with the United States Marine Corps in 1989. Stationed with the 1st Supply Battalion, 1st Force Service Support Group at Camp Pendleton, CA, she served as a Supply Administration & Operations Clerk with the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) Code 3043 and completed active duty in 1993.

Captain Sedoria Outlaw
U.S. Army

Captain Sedoria L. Outlaw accomplished extraordinary military and civilian careers. In 2013-2014 she deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Upon returning to civilian life, her 21-year Army and mental health career paths merged, resulting in a promotion to Director of Education and Training at the Center for Veterans Issues, Ltd. A Licensed Minister at Bethel Apostolic Church, Sedoria promotes spiritual health and wellness through community service by guiding individuals locally, nationally and internationally. She says, “Excellence to me is summoned up through the Army motto, ‘Never Accept Defeat.’ Barriers are eliminated with hard work, determination and education. Nothing beats a failure accept a try. God first in everything and excellence will follow.”

Captain Berdie Cowser
U.S. Army

Retired Army Captain Berdie L. Cowser is Director of the Bureau of Milwaukee Transitional Housing Programs and Services and forged side-by-side military and academic careers until 2009, when she ended her military career. Berdie began her civilian career as a safety services case manager for the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare in 2000. She then moved to the Center for Veterans Issues, Ltd., in 2001. She was promoted from case manager to supportive services supervisor in 2004. She continued her tenure with the Center for Veterans Issues, Ltd. Her present responsibilities as bureau director include providing oversight and control for more than 50 personnel —staff, transitional job participants, interns, volunteers and the supervision of wrap around services for more than 200 veterans on any given night.

Master Chief Mary Catherine Fowlkes
U.S. Coast Guard

It’s no surprise that retired Coast Guard Master Chief Mary C. Fowlkes pursued education and military service as dual careers. During her first teaching assignment at Racine Horlick High School, she joined the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve in 1983. In 2008, she became the first African American female U.S. Coast Guard reservist to earn the rank of Master Chief. In 1986, she began teaching in Milwaukee Public Schools at Jackie Robinson Middle School and transferred to Riverside University High School, her alma mater, in 1991. Displaying a wealth of dedication and involvement with RUHS students, in 2012, she assisted Habitat for Humanity in building a home with funds raised by the student council. She chaperoned students for tours to historically black colleges and universities, and even now, continues to chaperone field trips.

Technical Sergeant Linder Jines
U.S. Air Force

Air Force Technical Sergeant Linder L. Jines served with the 440th Airlift Wing of the U.S. Air Force Reserves for 21 years before retiring in 2007. She was based at the Air Reserve Station at General Mitchell International Airport until the 440th relocated to Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville, NC. She is currently a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission budget analyst. Her military career began in 1986 following her graduation from Bradley Trade and Technical High School in 1983. Initially assigned to the 95th Aerial Port Squadron (APS) as an air cargo specialist, she transferred later to the 34th APS unit as an air transportation specialist, and then became a passenger services technician. Currently Linder is a budget analyst for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Petty Officer 2nd Class Virdia Ofei
U.S. Navy

Petty Officer 2nd Class, Virdia Afi Ofei is 7 years into her Navy career. She decided long before enlisting at 32 years old, she wanted to serve her country, reach her full potential and see the world. Presently living in Franklin, WI, she wanted to be near her Chicago family and at the same time live somewhere new. Since 2013 she has worked at Chicago District Navy Recruiting Station, in Greenfield, WI. She sees herself as the bridge between what the Navy needs and what individuals need. Through the Navy’s Core Values honor, courage and commitment, she says that she “takes care of future sailors like family, as I teach them, they represent the Navy and their family members back home. They learn discipline, the benefit of hard work and to depend on themselves and their instincts.

Master Sergeant Barbara Robinson
U.S. Air Force & Army

Veteran Barbara G. Robinson desires to always be in position to help others. Beginning her 23-year military career in 1982, she achieved the rank of U.S. Air Force Reserve Master Sergeant (E-7), transferred to the Army, and reenlisted in the Air Force Reserve. She embraces the Air Force’s core values, summed up by the French adage “esprit de corps” meaning “a sense of unity.” She completed her 6-year enlistment at Milwaukee’s former 440th General Mitchell Air Base. Then she enlisted in the U.S. Army for active duty in 1988 to gain access to law enforcement. She reenlisted in the Air Force reserve in 1992, and retired in 2007. During that time, in 1995, she began a civilian career as a Milwaukee Police Department police officer and retired in 2012.