Susie M. Stephens McArthur was born in Crawfordville, Georgia, on 17 October 1945, the ninth of eleven children. After graduating from high school in 1962, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to attend business school.
McArthur enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) in March 1965. She attended basic training and advanced training in administration at Fort McClellan, Alabama, until August 1965, and was then assigned to the WAC Detachment Center and School Training Division at the fort as a clerk typist.
In 1967 McArthur received orders for a tour in Vietnam. She transmitted messages for the communications electronic branch at the Tan Son Nhut Air Base near Saigon and then at Long Binh, Vietnam, with the Adjutant Division of the U.S. Army headquarters. McArthur’s next duty station was Fort Monroe, Virginia, where she was a classified mail and distribution supervisor from 1968 to 1972. She returned to Fort McClellan as an instructor in the clerical school for one year before being sent to Stuttgart, Germany, where she worked in personnel with the 589th Signal Company for two years.
From 1976 to 1981, McArthur was stationed at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. She completed drill sergeant training; served as a drill sergeant for two years; and performed administrative NCO duties at the Drill Sergeant School. McArthur returned to Germany in 1981 to work in administration at NATO headquarters in Heidelberg. In July 1984 she returned to the States to attend the residence course at the Sergeant Major’s Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas, and then served at Fort Pickett, Virginia, in 1985. McArthur was sent back to NATO headquarters in Germany in December 1986, and she remained there until her retirement in June 1991.
McArthur and her husband, whom she had married in 1982, retired to Tampa, Florida, where she was active in her church and with several veterans’ organizations, and volunteered at a VA hospital.