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News | Feb. 29, 2024

Celebrating Black History: A Seat at the Table


Washington's journey in medicine began with a moment of curiosity and wonder during a routine doctor's visit, where the simple act of listening to her heartbeat through a stethoscope ignited her desire to become a healer. As the senior medical advisor to the commanding general of INSCOM, Washington's responsibilities are vast: overseeing and ensuring the safe and quality care for all INSCOM Soldiers across the enterprise.

Her inspiration is drawn from towering figures in black history, notably Dr. Charles Richard Drew and retired Army Lt. Gen. Nadja Y. West. Drew's revolutionary work in blood transfusions and blood storage during World War II, and West's groundbreaking achievements as the first African American Army Surgeon General and the first black female major general in Army Medicine, have deeply influenced Washington.

“Both of their contributions to Army medicine are immeasurable,” said Washington. “Not only did they dedicate their lives to the medical profession in different ways, [but] through both of their actions and knowledge, they saved the lives of countless Soldiers."

Washington's career is marked by significant accomplishments, notably her strategic role in the COVID-19 pandemic response in Italy, positively impacting the Defense Department's approach to the crisis. Her commitment to patient care, exemplified by her dedication to Soldier health and wellness, underscores her profound impact on the Army.

For Washington, Black History Month is a time of reflection, celebration and appreciation. It is an opportunity to honor the revolutionaries who paved the way for her and many others, breaking down barriers and promoting inclusivity.

Washington's message of hope and call to action in honor of Black History Month is a powerful reminder of the value of diverse voices and experiences.

“To anyone who has ever felt like an ‘only’ in the room or felt that like you didn’t have a seat at the table: Your voice is valid. Your experiences and perspectives are valuable, appreciated and important to the conversation.” Washington continued, “Even if there aren’t any seats left at the table, you can stand and still be heard.”

INSCOM executes mission command of operational intelligence and security forces; conducts and synchronizes worldwide multidiscipline and all-source intelligence and security operations; and delivers linguist support and intelligence-related advanced skills training, acquisition support, logistics, communications, and other specialized capabilities in support of Army, Joint, Coalition Commands, and the Intelligence Community.