Retired July 1, 1985.
Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught is commander of the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command, with headquarters at Great Lakes, Ill.
General Vaught was born March 15, 1930, in Pontiac, Mich. After graduating from Scottland (Ill.) Community High School, she earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana. The general received a master of business administration degree from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, and is also a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
After being commissioned a second lieutenant in January 1957, General Vaught completed the Officer's Basic Military Training Course at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. She then spent three months as a student at the Statistical Services Officers' Course at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas.
In September 1957 the general was assigned to the 805th Air Base Group, Barksdale Air Force Base, La., as chief of the Data Services Branch and, as an additional duty, commanded the Women in the Air Force Squadron Section. General Vaught served at Zaragoza Air Base, Spain, as chief of the Management Analysis Division, 3974th Combat Support Group, from April 1959 to April 1963.
Returning to the United States, General Vaught then was assigned to the 306th Combat Support Group at McCoy Air Force Base, Fla., as chief of the Data Services Division. She later become chief of the Management Analysis Division for the 306th Bombardment Wing there. During this period the general became the first woman to deploy with a Strategic Air Command operational unit when she served a temporary duty tour as executive officer and chief of the Management Analysis Division, 4133rd Provisional Bombardment Wing at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, during Operation ARC Light.
From June 1967 to September 1968, General Vaught was a graduate student at the University of Alabama. Her next year was spent as a management analyst in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Comptroller, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, in Saigon. Upon completion of the Southeast Asia tour of duty in November 1969, General Vaught was assigned to Headquarters Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, as chief of the Advanced Logistics Systems Plans and Management Group where she remained until July 1972. In August 1972 the general became the first female Air Force officer to attend the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
From July 1973 until November 1977, General Vaught was assigned to the Directorate of Management Analysis, Office of the Comptroller, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
She was chief of the Cost Factors Branch and later became chief of the Security Assistance Division.
General Vaught was next assigned to Air Force Systems Command headquarters as director of programs and budget in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Comptroller. The general became the command's deputy chief of staff, comptroller, in March 1980. She assumed her present command in June 1982.
The general serves as the senior military representative to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services and is chairperson of the Committee of Women in the NATO Armed Forces. In 1983, General Vaught was given the Illini Achievement Award by the University of Illinois; an award given annually to recognize the accomplishments of distinguished graduates. She also served as president of the board of directors of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union from April 1976 to July 1982. She is the only woman in its history to hold this position.
Her military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon with oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four service stars, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
General Vaught was promoted to brigadier general Sept. 8, 1980, with date of rank Sept. 6, 1980. She is the first woman selected for promotion to brigadier general in the comptroller career field.