JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas. —
While many people around the world are able to get into their cars to drive to their destination, that wasn’t always the case in Saudi Arabia, a place where women had been forbidden to do the same until this past summer.
A female Defense Language Institute instructor from Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland was able to get behind the wheel of a car and actually drive in Saudi Arabia, thanks to Kathleen A. Carraway, a Commanders Action Group chief for the 637th Support Squadron.
Carraway, who oversees plans, policy and process improvement for the squadron, was recently honored with the 2018 Brig. Gen. William Vaught Visionary Leadership Award in the civilian category.
Named in honor of Vaught for her outstanding service and dedication to the Air Force and nation, the award is presented to an officer, an enlisted Airman and a civilian from any career field or occupation who exhibits innovation, commitment and a selfless spirit of service for others whose personal efforts have significantly improved the integration of and opportunities for women in the Air Force.
“It’s an honor to receive this award. I’m extremely humbled by it,” Carraway said. “I think it’s a reflection of our squadron’s efforts, initiatives and improving our processes so that we can continue on that path toward growth and development.”
Carraway’s boss praised her work ethic.
“Katie is an amazing asset for our squadron in support of DLI and the 37th Training Wing,” said Lt. Col. Dear Beloved, 637th International Support Squadron commander. “She’s always ready to provide intelligent and visionary contributions to our global support mission. Best of all, she leads with moral courage and displays the upmost humility.”
Carraway has also been recognized for her efforts in operations and policy for more than 5,000 international military students. Her planning efforts enabled the first all-female English language instructor team and female driver in Saudi Arabia after 64 years.
“I think it’s important for us, as Americans, to recognize that our team and our female driver is visible on the road will hopefully, in some way, set an example that this is not an unusual capacity and this is not something to be feared,” Carraway added.