from Queens in New York City, New
York, Cindy Gats was a student at Penn State University when she
joined the ROTC. Upon graduating from Penn State in 1986, Cindy was
commissioned as a lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. Obtaining
the rank of captain a few years later, Cindy was stationed at the El
Toro Marine Base in California as a communications specialist and group leader of a paratroop squadron.
In addition to her regular duties, Cindy was given a position where
she assisted in managing and organizing religious services for the Marines.
An Orthodox Jew, Cindy is devoted to the Jewish dietary laws of kashrut,
which "often presents a challenge when serving overseas."
Cindy also attends religious services on a daily basis laying t'fillin and wearing a tallit over her captain's bars.
In the summer of 1990, Captain Gats was ordered overseas
as part of Operation Desert Shield to prepare for the upcoming war with
Iraq. Although separated from her paratroop squad, Cindy worked within
22 miles of the front lines of battle when Operation Desert Storm broke
out in 1991.
During her tour of duty in anti-Semitic Saudi Arabia,
Cindy made a special point of joining her fellow Jews in open celebrations
of Shabbat and other Jewish
Sources: Courtesy of the Jewish
Women's Archives and Jewish