Dorothy Rechel was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1935. She graduated from high school in 1952 and went on to work at Atlas National Bank.
Rechel enlisted in the WAC in 1953, at the age of eighteen. She completed basic training and leadership school at Fort Lee, New Jersey. In early 1954, she completed medical training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, while she worked as a mail clerk. In August of 1955, she was sent overseas to Orléans, France, where she performed clerical duties for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Rachel reenlisted in 1956 and completed CBR (Chemical Biological and Radiological) Training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. She was then assigned to Fort Meade, Maryland, a missile station. In 1960, she was transferred to recruitment duty in Cincinnati. After a year, she was assigned to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey to do administrative work at the Army Signal Center.
In 1967, Rechel was transferred to the WAC training center at Fort McClellan, Alabama. She volunteered for duty in Vietnam, and in February of 1968 she was sent to Long Bihn. A year later she was transferred back stateside to Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, where she worked as an instructor at the Adjutant General school. She was sent to Fort Bragg in 1970, then assigned to the Continental Army Command at Fort Monroe, Virginia. In 1974, she was sent to Fort Bliss, Texas, to attend Sergeant Major Academy, and then returned to Fort Monroe where she worked with the US Army Training and Doctrine Command on preparations for the integration of the WAC into the regular army. Rechel retired from the army in 1976 and later moved to Hendersonville, North Carolina.