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Major General Rita Bly Aragon (ret)
Major General Rita Bly Aragon (ret) was appointed to the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women by Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee in 2009. She had previosuly been active on the commission as an advisory council member. She currently serves on the Women Incarcerated Committee and is particularly interested in women's education opportunities.
Maj. Gen. Aragon enlisted in the Oklahoma Air National Guard on September 9, 1979 as an Airman Basic in the 219th Engineering Installation Squadron, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She received her commission through the Academy of Military Science at Knoxville, Tennessee in October 1981. In February of 1989, Major General Aragon became the first female commander of the 137th Services Flight at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base. In 2006, Major General Aragon became the Air National Guard Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff of Manpower and Personnel. There she served as the senior Air National Guard officer responsible for comprehensive plans and policies covering all life cycles of military and civilian personnel management, including education and training, compensation and resource allocation. She served on the Air Force Personnel Board of Directors for personnel integration matters.
Rita Aragon holds the distinction of becoming the first female to hold the rank of Brigadier General in Oklahoma National Guard and the first female commander of the Oklahoma Air National Guard in March of 2003.
She received her B.S.in Education and M.S. in Guidance and Counseling from Central State College in Edmond, Oklahoma. Aragon participates in several organizations including the Board of Directors for the Red Cross Chapter of Central Oklahoma, Board of Directors for the National Guard Association of Oklahoma, Academy of Military Science Alumni Assocation serving as Secretary, and Charter Member and regional representative of Women in Military Service for America.
Upon retirement as Major General, Aragon worked as Director of Advanced Programs for the University of Oklahoma College of Continuing Education. Some of her awards include Woman of the Year for Government in Edmond, Oklahoma, Oklahoma Hospitality Club "Women in the News", 1999 Oklahoma Woman Veteran of the Year, 1998 Red Lands Council Girl Scouts Woman of the Year, 1992 Oklahoma City Principal of the Year, 2005 Tulsa By-Liners Award recipient, and 2008 Journal Record Woman of the Year. She was inducted into the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame in 2009.