A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Captain Culbertson – attracted by the challenge of serving in the military, something none of her female relatives had ever done – was recruited by the U.S. Navy in 1963 into a communications unit while a student at the University of Hawaii. By graduation time, she was promoted to Petty Officer Third Class. On Graduation Day in 1967, she was commissioned Ensign along with graduating Army and Air Force ROTC cadets. She graduated Officer Candidate School in 1967 and reported for duty to Patrol Squadron Thirty-One at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California, where she served as Classified Materials Control Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and Public Affairs Officer. After honorable discharge, she traveled to work at Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, Japan for seven years. While in Japan, she re-affiliated with the Navy Reserve. Returning stateside to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1975, her last civilian assignment was Director, Morale, Welfare, and Recreation for Commander U.S. Naval Forces, Japan; her Navy Reserve rank was Lieutenant.
Her civilian career took her to the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Directorate of Education; U.S. Dept of Agriculture; U.S Forest Service in California and Arizona for 11 years; and her last assignment was Personnel Chief, Coconino National Forest, Flagstaff.
In 1988 Culbertson transferred to the Internal Revenue Service in Phoenix, and later to IRS Denver. She had 16 years of service in Human Capital Management and Equal Employment Opportunity, retiring in 2004 with 33 years total of Federal civil service. During this time, she served in the Navy Reserve in a number of intelligence commands; served as an Intelligence Unit Executive Officer and Commanding Officer; worked at the Naval Intelligence Command, the Pentagon, and the Defense Intelligence Agency; served as Battle Watch Officer or Senior Controller on four warfighting exercises in Pearl Harbor, Japan, and Korea, and retired as Captain (O-6), U.S. Navy, in 2003.
Captain Culbertson’s patriotism and service to country was kindled in the last four years of high school by serving in the Girl Scouts as a Senior Scout, and as a Brownie leader while a college student. She has been a volunteer community leader during all of her adult life. Now in her 13th year of retirement from the Navy and the Federal civil service, her volunteer work continues to the present time.
She was inducted into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society as a member of the Class of 2007, for outstanding community service after honorable discharge, and remains an active member of a number of military and veterans organizations in Arizona.
Culbertson and her husband Claude live in Phoenix, and are blessed with four children, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
We hope you will join us at the 21st Annual Phoenix Veterans Day Parade on November 11, 2017, to see all our Grand Marshals. This year’s parade theme is “SILENT SACRIFICE: Honoring Our Cold War Veterans.” The parade typically boasts more than 100 entries, and this year will have a special float with nearly 20 Vietnam Veterans riding on it. The parade will also feature patriotic floats, high school marching bands, JROTC marching units, color guards, Veterans Service Organizations, animals, novelty units and much, much more.
For more information on the parade and the parade route, click HERE.