Irene Clark Woodman

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Mildred Irene Clark Woodman (January 30, 1915 – November 25, 1994) was the twelfth chief of the United States Army Nurse Corps. She is credited with, during her tenure, playing a large role in the survival of the Corps in the Vietnam War. She has been inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.


Woodman was born on January 30, 1915, to Martha Darling and William James Clark, in North Carolina. The youngest of five children, she attended and graduated the Baker Sanatorium Training School for Nurses. In 1936, she spent a year at various postgraduate courses. One course was taught by a woman who had served in the Army Nurse Corps, and convinced Woodman to join. When she was accepted, she was first assigned to Fort Bragg. After taking several courses to become an experienced Anesthesiologist, in 1938, Woodman was reassigned to Fort Leavenworth, and commissioned as a second lieutenant; she was later assigned to Schofield Barracks. While there, she tended to the wounded after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1943, Woodman became chief nurse at Auburn General Hospital, Brooke General Hospital, Cushing General Hospital, Halloran General Hospital, Station Hospital, and the 382nd Station Hospital.[1][2]

Woodman served as chief nurse of the XXIV Corps. She was the only woman staff officer (as chief nurse of the Far East Command) assigned to General Douglas MacArthur when the Korean War began. Later she served as Director of Nurses and Medical Specialists in Office of the Surgeon General, during which she implemented the Army Student Nurse Program. Woodman became Chief Army Nurse in 1963. For her work, she received the Army Commendation Medal with Pendant, and the Distinguished Service Medal.[3] When Woodman died, she was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The Clark Health Clinic is named after her.[1]


  1. ^ a b Bullough, Vern L. (2000). American Nursing: A Biographical Dictionary:. Springer Publishing Company. ISBN 9780826111470.
  2. ^ "Col. Mildred Clark". North Carolina Nursing History | Appalachian State University. 2011-05-04. Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  3. ^ "Irene Clark Woodman" (PDF). Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.