Together Through It All: Twin Command Sergeants Major Reflect On Their Decades Of Service

Catherine & Charlene (Kennedy) Kahl


Twin sisters Cathy and Charlie Kahl enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps together, and managed to be stationed together throughout much of their career until they both retired as Command Sergeants Major. After graduating from high school, they both felt called to enlist, and became clerks. They went to basic training and clerk school together before volunteering for Vietnam. They had to volunteer twice for assignment to Vietnam, because the first time they volunteered, their paperwork was lost. While deployed, they worked in the same office, one in the “release from active duty” section, and the other in the “congressional” section. After returning from Vietnam, they continued to serve together as they rose through the ranks, including joining the second class of women to attend Drill Sergeant School. Eventually, they both were promoted to Sergeant Major, and attended the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy two classes apart. Charlene retired in 1992, and Catherine retired in 1996. In this interview, Cathy and Charlie talk about their childhood, their decision to join the Army, and their service in Vietnam, including their work in the USARV AG section. They discuss leadership, highlighting several influential leaders they have worked with over the years. Finally, they reminisce about the rewards and challenges of being twins serving together throughout much of their career.


conflicts Vietnam War
topics Camaraderie Leadership My Lai Taking on a New Command Women in Service
interviewer David Siry
date 27 August 2016


name Catherine & Charlene (Kennedy) Kahl
unit USARV Adjutant General
service dates 1966 1996