Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Sandra K. Carter Pedersen. Sandra served in the Navy as a cryptologic technician (administrative) from 1975 to 1997. She earned the rank of E-9 master chief.

In 1978, Sandra was assigned to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where she worked at a Naval security group detachment. In 1980, Sandra made Sailor of the Year as the leading petty officer of her department.

In 1981, Sandra was assigned to the Naval Oceans Systems Center at Point Loma, San Diego, where she became a career counselor for other Navy members. She described this as challenging work due to the sexual harassment issues that many of the women were going through at the time. She was then stationed in Adak, Alaska, in 1986 as the provisional courier. She later went to Skaggs Island, California, and Edsel, Scotland.

During her time in the Navy, Sandra was the first female cryptologic technician to make chief, the first female to be a Navy courier in the Armed Forces Courier Service, the first female to be promoted to E-8 and the first female to make master chief.

In an interview with the Veterans History Project, Sandra mentioned that she tried to pave the way for other women coming into the military. She commented that women, “can basically just about do anything that their male counterparts can now, and I think that’s wonderful. So, if I had any little bit of help in doing that, that’s a good thing.”

Thank you for your service, Sandra!

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at

Graphic By Joanna Specht: Joanna Specht is a student at Black Hawk College with a Major in Visual Communication. 

Share this story

Published on Nov. 2, 2017

Estimated reading time is 2.1 min.

Views to date: 186

More Stories

  • Navy Veteran Calvin Leon Graham became the youngest World War II soldier at the age of 12, and the youngest recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Air Forces Veteran Horace Poolaw, who became a well-known photographer of Native American life.

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Deborah Jo Pereira, who enlisted in the military at a unique time in her life and in American history.