Editor’s Note: This is the seventh essay in a 10-part Women’s History Month series entitled, Honoring Our Nation’s Women Veterans. In February, we asked readers to submit essays about their time in service or women who have served our country
My sister, Staff Sergeant Jane E. Gerth served in the United States Air Force from 1977 to 1997. At first, she wished to be trained as a pilot, but testing during basic training showed her aptitude for languages. She began her training with the U.S. Air Force Security Service as an Airman First Class in the Voice Processing Specialist Course at Goodfellow AFB in Texas. Her career included time at Chicksands, England and Misawa, Japan.
My sister eventually became a Branch Senior Analyst on worldwide air-launched weapons systems Research and Development and briefed U.S. Navy Top Gun pilots on top-priority air-to-air missile and fighter aircraft testing and capabilities. She improved office efficiency by developing an innovative method for tracking specific worldwide missile activity which cut analysis time from weeks to days. For this, she received a Certificate of Commendation. She was recognized throughout the intelligence community as an expert air-launched weapons analyst and briefed personnel ranging from fighter pilots to national level intelligence officials and committees. My sister completed her career by retiring from N.S.A. at Fort Meade, Maryland.
Jane E. Gerth passed away from lung cancer on April 30, 2008.