CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – More than 21 years of service at The Citadel after 28 years in the military, Lieutenant Colonel Pamela Barton is a trailblazer and role model for women.

“When I joined the Army, I joined the Army. So that in itself to me was just the catapult, the keystone for my career,” said Lt. Col. Barton.

A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Lt. Col. Barton is a native of Florence, South Carolina. A direct commission into the United States Army in 1974, Barton’s strength was tested daily.

“There were a lot of things that were evolving as far as women in the Army, and I was fortunate enough to be engaged in a lot of those opportunities that were being given to women,” she said.

But she enjoyed it. Even making an appearance with the 82nd Airborne Sport Parachute Demonstration Team.

“I ended up in Lugau and started jumping out of airplanes for fun,” she said.

Retiring as a lieutenant colonel, Barton joined The Citadel in 1999 as a TAC officer during a time when being a woman at the military college wasn’t easy.

“They were looking for women to come in and be part of the experience here on the military side of the house, as opposed to they had women faculty,” she stated.

But she was up to the task. Earning rewards, promotions, and even helping execute a plan to keep Cadets safe during the COVID-19 crisis, her work speaks for itself.

“It’s long days. It’s physical training there in the morning, whether it’s with the cadets or personal, because it’s part of who I am.”

A cancer survivor with an impact hard to measure – now set to retire, Barton’s story teaches resilience and compassion.

“It means a lot that I’ve been able to contribute. It means a lot that I’ve been part of the opportunity and the growth of this place,” she said.

On all fronts – both personal and professional – Lt. Col. Pamela Barton is a remarkable woman.

“I guess I’m gonna leave knowing that I had my finger prints on a lot of stuff,” she said.