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$1,000 scholarships for high school seniors

AUSA honors Col. Isabelle (Jo) Swartz

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Col. Isabelle Josephine "Jo" Swartz's long record of service to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and the local community will continue.

In honor of the work Swartz accomplished during and after her service, the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter, has renamed the Fort Lewis Family Member Scholarship to the Col. Isabelle (Jo) Swartz Memorial Scholarship.

The AUSA's scholarship program began with an initial contribution donated in memory of Swartz.

Her story is anchored in the history of JBLM.

Born in October 1922 at Fort Lewis to an Army officer and his wife, Swartz grew up on a number of posts. During World War II, while her father served in the South Pacific, she earned a BA in English and History from Southern Methodist University.

After working at the Pentagon for a time, she joined the Army and received her commission in August 1955 at Fort Lewis.

Her long career took her to Army posts and Air Force bases around the country, to include a posting to McChord Air Force Base.

A student of military heraldry, she designed a Coat of Arms for the Army's Women's Army Corps School. Her design was accepted, approved and issued as the school's unit insignia.

Photo: Col. Isabelle Josephine “Jo” Swartz (Credit: Robin Barnes)

Swartz's last assignment prior to her retirement in August 1975 was with the 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis.

After leaving the service, Swartz remained in the area and served in a number of roles with the American Red Cross, the Board of the Fort Lewis Military Museum, the Puget Sound Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars, the Meriwether Lewis Memorial Monument Committee, and the Mary Ball Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Her service continued as Swartz also served on the committees for the Elvins Medical Scholar Scholarship and the Frank McCleary Scholarship.

Rounding out her distinguished record of post-military service, she served in a number of roles in the Women in Military Service Organization and in the State National Defense Committee.

"We are honored and proud to have worked with Beth Ellis, Amy Tiemeyer, Rhonda Shabazz and Major Tim Krambs on the Meriwether Lewis AUSA Scholarship Committee," said Patti Morgan, the chapter's director of family programs.

"Everyone has worked hard in researching the information and structuring our effort to make this scholarship to honor and remember Colonel Isabelle "Jo" Swartz."

Under the auspices of the AUSA, the $1,000 scholarships are designed to render financial assistance to graduating high school seniors, the leaders of tomorrow.

To apply, applicants must be a graduating senior, and must be an AUSA member or the child of a parent/legal guardian of a current AUSA member who is affiliated with the Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter.

Applicants must also complete an application for a fall entry as an undergraduate to attend an accredited college or university, possess a cumulative 2.5 grade point average through the first semester of the academic year, and have demonstrated leadership, volunteerism and service to the community.

Applications will be accepted from Dec. 1 through March 15, 2019.

"This is a valuable program for supporting our military youth and the future leaders of the country and the AUSA," concluded Morgan.

For more information about the scholarship, visit or email

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