On the 15th of May 1970, then president Richard Nixon appointed both Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington as generals in the United States army making them the first ever female generals. Both Hoisington and Hays started their military careers during World War II in 1942. At the time of their promotion to generals Hays was chief of the Army Nurse Corps and Hoisington was the director of the Women’s Army Corps.
Hays only learnt about her nomination after leaving her office for the day. Hays seemed sceptical, saying, “I’ll have to call somebody and find out.” Once confirmed she said “My goodness.” Hoisington said she had learned of her nomination only a few minutes before the public announcement and that she had had no advance indication of it. Hoisington said that about 25 of her male officer friends had come in to congratulate her, and “they all are kissing me.”