In September 2013, Sudmeier posthumously received the Trailblazer Award from the CIA. Her nieces, nephew and two grand-nieces accepted the medallion — reserved for “CIA officers whose leadership, achievements, and dedication to mission had a significant impact on the agency’s history and legacy.” At the time, her files were still classified. Their declassifying began in February 2014, nearly 25 years after her death.
After graduating from St. Kate’s with an English degree in 1933, Sudmeier taught for five years before pursuing a military career. Her impressive resume includes work as a Women’s Army Corps stenographer during World War II, a stenographer for the Central Intelligence Group (CIG, the predecessor to the CIA), and eventually as a clandestine CIA agent in the Middle East for nine years, starting in 1956. As part of covert duty, not even her family knew her actual employment.