Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Raye Montague. Raye served from 1956 to 1990.

Born in 1935, Raye had a lifelong interest in engineering. After graduating high school, Raye applied for the engineering program at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville but was rejected as the university did not accept black students at the time. Undeterred, Raye instead attended Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College and earned a bachelor’s in business.

Determined to become an engineer, Raye joined the Navy after college as a typist. Raye worked her way from typist to computer programmer and eventually became the first female program director of the Naval Sea Systems Command.

Raye’s most notable accomplishment was a computer program she developed to designed ships in as little as 18 and 26 minutes, compared to the two years it took before. For this achievement, Raye earned the Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

Her story was recounted in the 2016 film, Hidden Figures, which describes the vital roles African American women played in the NASA space program.

Raye passed away on Oct. 10, 2018 at the age of 83.

We honor her service.


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? 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 newmedia@va.gov 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.


Graphic By Whitney Moore: Whitney is an undergraduate senior at Southern New Hampshire University studying Social Media Marketing.

Share this story

Published on Oct. 19, 2018

Estimated reading time is 1.5 min.

Views to date: 96

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.