Beginning a distinguished career, Julia C. Stimson '01 sailed for France to serve as chief nurse of Base Hospital #21 of the Washington University Unit in Rouen. In April 1918 she was assigned to the American Red Cross in Paris, where she became chief nurse of the Red Cross Nursing Service. In November she was appointed director of the Nursing Service of the Allied Expeditionary Forces.

For her service in France, Stimson received the United States Distinguished Service Medal; the British Royal Red Cross, 1st Class; the French Médaille de la Reconnaissançe Française and the Médaille d’Honneur de l’Hygiène Publique and the International Red Cross Florence Nightingale Medal.

Coming to Washington in July 1919, she was appointed acting superintendent of the Army Nurse Corps and dean of the Army School of Nursing.  On December 30, 1919, Stimson became superintendent of the Army Nurse Corps. The amended Defense Act of June 4, 1920, gave her the relative rank of major, the only woman in the army in that grade at the time.

Major Stimson continued as superintendent of the Army Nurse Corps until 1937. In 1942 she was recalled to active service to recruit nurses for the Army Nurse Corps.  She died in St. Francis Hospital, Poughkeepsie, in September 1948.