Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

History of Women and the U.S. Military

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

History of Women and the U.S. Military

Article excerpt

Women have been a part of the military in America since the forming of the country, said Francoise Bonnell, executive director of the U.S. Army Women's Museum in Ft. Lee, Va. Although armies throughout history have had female camp followers of various types - - servants, slaves, girlfriends, wives and prostitutes -- women were engaged in military activities from early on in the United States. She outlined the role of women through the country's military history:

Revolutionary War

Women travel alongside their husbands helping with domestic chores, such as darning socks.

Civil War

Women and children travel with soldiers as camp followers. About 400 women are documented trying to disguise themselves as men so they can perform on the battlefield

World War I

About 12,000 women will serve as nurses by the end of the war. A group called the Army Signal Corps, nicknamed the "hello girls," works as bilingual translators.

World War II

The Women's Auxiliary Army Corps is established after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 and later replaced by the Women's Army Corps. The women function in separate units from the men. They go to basic training, where they are taught how to put on gas masks and how to properly apply makeup. …

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