A Tarleton State University doctoral student and U.S. Army veteran Nicole Burkett has recently been named the inaugural recipient of the U.S. Army Women’s Foundation’s 6888th Scholarship, The Flash Today reported.
The $2,500 award is in honor of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion – nicknamed the “Six Triple Eight” – a Women’s Army Corps (WAC) regiment of 855 women, primarily Black but some Hispanic, who deployed during WWII to sort and route millions of pieces of unprocessed mail the Army could not get to front-line troops.
The 6888th – the only all-female unit in Army history – was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in March 2022.
Burkett’s scholarly work traces the trajectory of Black women in the military. Pursuing an Ed.D. in educational leadership with an emphasis on higher education, Burkett wants to advocate for unheard voices and share stories of the vulnerable and underrepresented.
“As women veterans, sometimes we are not considered ‘real veterans’ because it is a mostly male-dominated organization,” Burkett said. “Additionally, as a Black woman in the military, you are sometimes seen as a commodity because of what you can do and not as a person because of who you are. Combat exposure has a way of changing your mindset to survive and also detach you from those you love.
“There is a preponderance of research about male veterans and some about women veterans; however, there is limited research about Black women veterans and even less about combat Black women veterans. In a growing culture of diversity, equity and inclusion, these stories have to be shared. The goal is to help more understand and see them as real people, not commodities.”
During her 24 years in the military, Burkett was stationed in countries including Korea, Japan, and Afghanistan.
Burkett holds three degrees, including a degree in healthcare administration and public administration with an emphasis on human resources. She also holds an associate degree in supply chain logistics.