Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Air Force Veteran Cassie Barlow, who served as a personnel officer and commanded a mission support group.
Cassie Barlow was born in 1965 in Buffalo, New York, and graduated as valedictorian of her high school class in 1984. She promptly joined the Air Force after being offered an ROTC scholarship. As a freshman at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Barlow studied psychology and commissioned as a second lieutenant upon graduation in 1988 at 22 years of age.
Barlow served in a variety of roles then as a captain, she began studies as a doctor of psychology student at Rice University in Houston, Texas.
After graduating with a doctorate in organizational psychology, Barlow worked at the Pentagon and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. She was the mission support group commander while at a Royal Air Force Lakenheath in the United Kingdom. She also served as director of manpower and personnel for North American Aerospace Defense Command.
Barlow recognized at the time that she was an outlier and that women did not typically occupy roles like hers.
“I had to train myself over time to not look around the table and recognize that maybe I was the only woman at the table, because it really didn’t matter,” she recounted in an interview with the Veterans History Project.
She said she hopes young women can look to her and other women and believe that “I can do that too.”
Barlow holds a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees and a doctorate. Barlow retired from the Air Force in 2014. Following retirement, she became president of the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education, which assists young people in searching for employment as well as with leadership skills. She is also an adjunct professor at Wright State University.
Barlow said her advice to young people is “you really have to understand who you are and be comfortable in your own skin, and be yourself.”
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Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Writers: Jarrett Dodson, Corinne Nicol, Katherine Berman
Editors: Christine Myers, Elissa Tatum
Researcher: Ileana Rodrigues, Latesha Thornhill
Graphic Designer: Grace Yang