LGBT Oral History 079: Melita McCully

Number of Pages: 
November 28, 2017

Melita McCully was born on December 11, 1952 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. After the death of her father, Melita moved to Florida with her family and became both the breadwinner and the caretaker of her six brothers and sisters, mother and grandmother. As a teenager, Melita volunteered when she was not in school in exchange for her brothers’ tuition at their Catholic school. Unable to go away for college, Melita attended St. Petersburg Junior College and the University of South Florida. While in college, Melita held 2 jobs to support her family and herself. After graduating with a 3.7 GPA and 23 extra credits, Melita enlisted in the United States Women’s Army Corp at the age of 21, not retiring until 29 years later. Melita gives a well-detailed overview on her experience in the U.S. Army as a lesbian woman starting off in a gender-segregated military. Furthermore, up until 2011, after the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, LGBT people were not welcomed into the military and risked dishonorable discharge. This impacted Melita’s experience and relationships greatly, but this did not stop her from achieving several ranks and overseeing hundreds of soldiers.

Time Period: 
Gift of Melita McCully
LGBT Oral History - McCully, Melita - 079
Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections