Locking Shields: Surviving West Point As A Woman

Kris (Raymer) Fuhr


Kristin Lee (Raymer) Fuhr graduated from West Point in 1985 in the fifth class with women, standing 10th in her class. Even though there were women in every class above her, and she was smart and fit, the journey through West Point was not an easy one. On her first day at the academy, two upperclass women took her aside and told her, “There’s not much we can do for you. We’re fighting for our own lives.” From there, the situation deteriorated. She was assigned to B-1, then commonly known as “Boys 1,” where she learned that she was not allowed on one floor of the barracks because it was off-limits to women and, in one instance, she was attacked in her room by a predatory upperclassman. Her role models were the few female officers assigned to West Point, civilian instructors like Dr. Tendy in DPE, and the wives of officers at the Academy. As a junior, she spent first semester at the Air Force Academy, and the women from West Point and Annapolis begged to be allowed to transfer to the Air Force Academy because women seemed to be more seamlessly integrated there. In spite of all of this, she worked to fit in at the Academy and be a team player, and she served as a Cadet Company Commander during Beast Barracks. Cadet Stephanie Shubert (2017) conducted this interview as primary source research for her senior thesis in history. Kris Fuhr describes some of the struggles she and her classmates faced in the early classes with women at the Academy. She discusses instances of assault, male Cadets answering the door naked, institutionalized harassment in her company, and relationships with male classmates. She concludes by stating that her love for West Point is strong, and that her mission now is to provide a support network for women attending the Academy or going to Ranger School.


topics West Point History Women in Service Camaraderie Courage Diversity Leadership Morale Sexual Harassment / Assault Teamwork
interviewer Stephanie Shubert
date 06 April 2017


name Kris (Raymer) Fuhr
institution USMA
graduation year 1985
service Military Intelligence
unit 165th Military Intelligence Battalion
service dates 1985 1992