An Army Daughter, Wife, and Officer


Emma McNeil, Writer

Janeen C Killian is a woman unlike any other.  She was an Army girl from day one, and her family members were too.  In world war II her father was turned down from the navy, due to the fact that he was color blind, so he enlisted in the Army instead.

Her husband was an Army Aviator in Korea and Vietnam.  Janeen, herself, served as a commissioned officer in the Women’s Army Corps and later the US Army National Guard. All of these experiences shaped Janeen and taught her skills she would use throughout her life.  

During WWII, while her dad was away in the Army, she had many interesting experiences with her mother; these included Air Raid drills.  

She remembers one time when she was about 5 years old when they had an air raid drill. After her mother turned all of the lights out, the two of them sat on the front porch.  The Air Raid Warden came around checking to make sure everyone’s lights were off, and he saw something in their house.  He came to the door and asked them to turn off the light. Her mother then went into the house and found that the light was coming from the tube in the back of the radio.

It was so dark that the Air Raid Warden could see the small tube inside their house from the road!  This is one event she remembers very clearly about living during WWII as a small child.

When Janeen was older she joined the Women’s Army Corps. Here, besides meeting her husband, she did many important jobs.

She left the WAC in 1967, but in 1979, when she went to go back to the military, the WAC no longer existed, so she joined the Army National Guard. At  one point in her Army career she moved to Texas and did drug testing for the National Guard. She then moved to Iowa and taught alcohol, drug, and race relation classes.  She had a long career and ended up leaving the army later than most.  She retired as a Lt. Colonel, US Army.

While she was in the WAC, the Army had no intention of putting women in combat, however they still had to wear the full army uniform. Women had to wear skirts though.  According to the army “an officer is a lady by act of congress”. Therefore she was required to wear a skirt.

They were inspected at the beginning of every day and after they ate.  Their skirts were not allowed to have any wrinkles.  This made things difficult sometimes.

Women were also taught to shoot, but were not expected to shoot anyone or carry a gun. Janeen learned to shoot and remembers feeling the gun go off in her hands, but she never had to shoot a gun in a real life or death situation, only in training.

Janeen is a woman who was willing to do whatever she had to for her country. She is an army girl in every way. Not only did she serve, her husband, father, and other family members did as well.