Sherian Grace Cadoria (born January 26, 1943 in Marksville, Louisiana) was the first black female general in the United States Army and the highest ranking female at the time of her retirement in 1990 with the rank of Brigadier General. She is a graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and holds a Master of Arts degree in Social Work from the University of Oklahoma. Initially in the Women’s Army Corps, she transferred to the Military Police Corps in the 1970s.
Promoted to Brigadier General in 1985, Cadoria became the highest ranking black woman in the Army at the time.
Cadoria stated the following about an experience in Vietnam:: “In Vietnam I interviewed for a protocol job. The colonel told me I couldn’t do the job, ‘You can’t travel, you can’t carry luggage, it’s too heavy. Women can’t do this.’ And I said, ‘Nobody said I couldn’t carry those hundred-pound bags of cotton when I was a child.’ “By act of Congress, male officers are gentlemen, but by act of God, we are ladies. We don’t have to be little mini-men and try to be masculine and use obscene language to come across. I can take you and flip you on the floor and put your arms behind your back and you’ll never move again, without you ever knowing that I can do it.”
BG Cadoria was born in Marksville, Louisiana, and is a graduate of Southern University A&M College, earning a BS Degree in Business Education. She also earned the MA in Social Work from the University of Oklahoma. She has been asked where the name “Cadoria” came from: “It’s a Spanish derivative,” she explains. “My ancestral background is mixed with Indian, Mexican, black, white, and Spanish; just like so many of us are mixed. But I’m black.”