News | March 23, 2020

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Grace Hopper

By DLA Public Affairs

Editor’s note: The Defense Logistics Agency recognizes March as Women’s History Month. In honor of women’s contributions to the agency’s global mission, DLA is highlighting women who’ve contributed to the agency’s mission of providing logistics support to America’s warfighters.

Grace Hopper was a mathematician whose work with computers was critical to DLA’s development of the Standard Material Management System. Hopper was a professor at Vassar College who joined the Navy during World War II. After the war, she helped design one of the first computers, then invented a program that allowed computers to process commands in English rather than just numbers. Hopper later served on the committee that developed common business-oriented language, or COBOL, which DLA used to program SAAMS. Former DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Eugene Grinstead thanked Hopper, then a commodore in the Navy Reserve, with a plaque during his command June 1981 through July 1984.

Today, computer technology is the backbone of DLA’s 24/7, worldwide supply chain.