Successful Women Beyond the Military


Spotlight on Valerie Vagoda

Military service often acts as a preface or stepping stone to a second rewarding career. Many successful women have served in the active service, the Guard, the Reserves, or both, and moved on to excel in a different arena. Some of these accomplished former military women will be featured here. And, as always, your contributions about more women veterans are most welcome.

Valerie Vagoda, former Army Lieutenant and accomplished electric violinist and singer, is one of these women.

Valerie Lt. Vagoda served from 1984 to 1995 in both the ROTC and the Army National Guard. Valerie credits that experience with allowing her to develop an unwavering perseverance that keeps her going through punishing tour schedules, bad weather and unexpected events in her life. She even learned how to make better use of her voice while "sounding off" - shouting out orders to troops from the opposite end of a parking lot.


Musician Valerie is the founding member of GrooveLily. Originally from McLean, VA, she has toured the world with Cyndi Lauper, Cher, Tina Turner and Joe Jackson, and is thrilled to be back with GrooveLily as they take the country by storm. Valerie is a classically-trained musician, former army lieutenant, and an honors graduate of Princeton University. She founded GrooveLily (originally "The Valerie Vigoda Band") in 1994, with a critically acclaimed CD called "Inhabit My Heart."

Valerie, who does dual duty as the band's vocalist and violinist has become part of the Department of Defense advertising campaign "Todays' Military: See it for what it really is." This nationwide print, web, and television campaign will link the everyday lives of former military members to the skills they developed in the military.

Groovelily at the Kennedy Center.

Calling their music "Smart Pop" Groovelily has a unique sound and style. They are an amazingly talented trio, whose sound has been likened to Paula Cole meets Bruce Hornsby. The trio consists of a great blend of an electric violin, keyboards and drums. Their next CD, "Are We There Yet?", is due out on August 26, 2003.

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Visit their web site to listen to some of this uniquely special music.

Check out the Todays' Military web site for more about Valerie and other featured military men and women. Todays' Military

Stay tuned for more about former military women from the past and the present - women like Congresswoman Heather Wilson; renowned journalist Sarah McClendon; author and nurse, Louisa May Alcott; singer Josephine Baker; Chef Julia Child; Madalyn Murray O'Hair; Senator Margaret Chase Smith and more. - It may take awhile, but I'll get to it eventually.

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