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  • Women In Military Service For America Memorial
    soldiers of the Panamanian Defense Forces PDF who refused to surrender their positions at a dog kennel She anticipated a routine operation but the battle turned into a three hour infantry style firefight CPT Bray s troops made a startling discovery when they crashed through the kennel gate to secure the area PDF troops had fled leaving a mini arsenal behind including more than a dozen AK 47s M 16 assault rifles cases of fragmentation grenades and thousands of rounds of ammunition Forty military cots a cache of Cuban money and spare uniforms suggested that the dog kennel was a barracks for Special Operations troops Three PDF soldiers were killed and one was taken prisoner Publicity surrounding the assault brought issues concerning women in combat to the forefront of public opinion By definition military police units were designated to perform tactical operations at the rear of a battlefield Even though they were combat ready their mission was considered noncombatant The 988th s assault on the dog kennel had crossed the line between a peacetime mission and a combat mission Colorado Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder immediately called for legislation to open up all jobs in the Army to women for an experimental

    Original URL path: http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/History/bray.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Women In Military Service For America Memorial
    American couriers below Colonial records from Pennsylvania tell another story An order was drawn upon the Treasurer in favor of Miss Eleanor Hitchcock for the sum of 12 lbs in full of her account for her services in the years 1775 and 1776 in erecting at Cape Henlopen a large pole and hoisting thereon from time to time two flags as signals to vessels belonging to the bay and river Delaware of the approach of the enemy pursuant to instructions from the Committee of Safety Most early patriot women participated in the American Revolution in unofficial capacities yet they performed essential support services to the troops frequently serving as nurses cooks and laundresses and occasionally as spies and soldiers in disguise Read the story of Deborah Sampson Gannett At the battle of Monmouth in 1778 Molly Pitcher so named because she brought pitchers of water to soldiers on the field became the second known woman to man a gun when her husband fell in battle For her heroic role GEN Washington awarded her a warrant as a noncommissioned officer Women of the American Revolutionary era set a precedent for service that would be repeated again in the Civil War and in the Spanish American War after which the military acknowledged the need and desirability of maintaining a permanent women s nursing corps in the Army 1901 and Navy 1908 Permanent status for other women in the US Armed Forces would not occur until passage of the Women s Armed Services Integration Act in 1948 GEN George Washington confronted the issue of using women in the war effort early in the Revolution He needed to meet the demand for medical care for his soldiers and too few men were available to serve as medics and nurses and he wanted to find

    Original URL path: http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/History/earlyyears%28amrev%29.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Women In Military Service For America Memorial
    military leaders limited women s roles but the country needed their skills to pursue the war effort and to move male soldiers out of office jobs and onto the battlefield US Army Signal Corps telephone operators or Hello Girls Tours France WWI Elizabeth Anne Browne Collection Gift of L C Jones Women s Memorial Foundation Collection By war s end American military women had served stateside and overseas on the eastern and western war fronts Over 230 bilingual civilian telephone operators working with the Army were organized and trained by AT T and took the same oath of allegiance as male soldiers Dubbed the Hello Girls they maintained communications in numerous French localities sometimes working under combat conditions From the outset of World War I long before American troops arrived on foreign soil American women were over there volunteering with civilian organizations to provide nursing transportation and other war relief services Women aligned themselves with humanitarian organizations such as the American Red Cross YMCA Salvation Army and others to meet wartime needs A YMCA volunteer who worked in Paris France during World War I World War I marked a new era in women s movement from the home and into

    Original URL path: http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/History/wwi%28war%29.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Women In Military Service For America Memorial
    that preceded their authorization also addressed the appropriateness of allowing women to exercise their rights and responsibilities as American citizens The Army was segregated In 1945 the all black 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion arrived in England and performed its duties with distinction Accustomed to discrimination at home the women were accepted socially by British and French people They served in the Army and Navy Nurse Corps Women s Army Corps WAC and in the Navy WAVES Coast Guard SPARs and Marine Corps Women s Reserves Although not officially members of the armed forces Women Airforce Service Pilots WASPs provided critical support for the war effort Other women worked with the military through service with organizations such as the American Red Cross the United Service Organizations USO and the Civil Air Patrol By the end of the war there were few noncombatant jobs in which women did not serve including positions that hadn t even existed when the war began positions brought about by scientific and technological advances to aid the war effort They were in every service branch and were assigned to every combat theater Nurses and WACs served overseas throughout the war WAVES SPARs and Women Marines were restricted from overseas assignments until near the end of the war when they were sent to the territories of Hawaii and Alaska then considered overseas duty because they were not yet states Women earned Purple Hearts Bronze Stars and Legions of Merit Some were held as prisoners of war and some died in the service of their country WAVES training in Norman OK Women s participation in the US Armed Forces during World War II was a major turning point in the relationship of women to the military The initial response to the idea of enlisting women met enormous resistance

    Original URL path: http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/History/wwii.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Women In Military Service For America Memorial
    drive to recruit women into the US Armed Forces and the gradual implementation of racial desegregation in the military were at odds with social trends of the early 1950s Broadly speaking the American cultural climate relegated most women to non professional low paying jobs and promoted a feminine ideal of domesticity and maternalism Despite decades of protest and political and legal activism the inequities of the separate but equal doctrine of the 1896 Plessy v Ferguson Supreme Court decision still shaped race relations and white attitudes in most of America When the Korean War began in 1950 the United States found itself involved in a conflict for which it was unprepared A downsized military establishment rushed to call up draft and recruit the needed manpower And when it came up short the services asked American women to leave their homes jobs and families and serve their country during its time of need just as they had in previous wars Yet the military offered women far more restricted opportunities than in World War II During the 1950s opportunities for any but traditional job assignments declined significantly More than half the women worked in personnel and administrative jobs and their basic training included stereotypical women s classes such as makeup and etiquette lessons A 1951 Army recruiting pamphlet promised In authorizing job assignments for women particuar care is taken to see that the job does not involve a type of duty that violates our concept of proper employment for sisters and girlfriends In the military transport field for example women do not drive heavy trucks Pregnancy and seesawing policies on marriage further contributed to women s attrition rates Discharge for pregnancy was automatic and mothers of children under the age of 18 were not permitted to volunteer The services flipflopped on discharge

    Original URL path: http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/History/1950s.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Women In Military Service For America Memorial
    order to perform the jobs open to them And they needed to be feminine Members of the Officer s Training School at Lackland AFB TX 1960 Military recruiting brochures targeting women promised challenging jobs with unlimited opportunities But in fact by the 1960s most truly challenging technical jobs were closed to women and those already trained and experienced in technical skills such as engine repair equipment maintenance intelligence and weather and radio operations were retrained for jobs the military considered women s work In the Army WACs no longer underwent bivouac training or weapons famliarization WAF recruits were told how to apply lipstick correctly and Women Marines were told their lipstick and nail polish had to match the scarlet braid on their uniform hats Even in Vietnam under combat conditions women were told to dress in skirts and pumps rather than boots and field clothing in order to project a neat and feminine image Their careers were further limited because women were allowed few promotion opportunities and none could serve as admirals or generals Directors for women within the services generally supported narrow roles for servicewomen and they simply did not want to generate controversy that would jeopardize women s already marginal position in the armed forces The directors sought acceptance for women in the military not equality President Johnson signs Public Law 90 130 which opened advanced military rank to women and lifted ceilings on the number of women in the military Nov 1967 But the national concern for civil rights and gender equity including equal opportunity for wages and promotions began to impact the armed forces In 1967 after years of debate within the military and pressure from various military advisory groups Congress voted to allow women s promotions to higher service grades including general and admiral and

    Original URL path: http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/History/1960s.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Women In Military Service For America Memorial
    rights for women the Department of Defense knew it needed to look at problems of gender discrimination in the military as well Personnel policies and opportunities for career development were revised across the services The military gradually forced more balanced representation of women out of saturated traditional fields to representation in most occupations Reserve Officer Training Corps ROTC programs became coeducational Nontraditional job opportunities expanded for women in all services and some Navy and Coast Guard ships sailed with male female crews Read a 1977 letter from the Department of the Army informing a new recruit about weapons training but explaining that such training was to give her confidence but not to prepare her for combat duty Weapons training became mandatory The Army and the Navy opened pilot training to women in 1972 and six Navy women earned their wings and the designation of Naval aviator in 1973 The Air Force followed in 1976 That year women were admitted to the service academies and male and female recruits shared some coeducational training By 1978 the Air Force began training women to serve on Titan missile launch crews and the numbers of women increased in the Reserve and National Guard Social equality too moved to the forefront during the decade In 1973 the Supreme Court ruled in Frontiero v Ferguson that the civilian spouses of military women were to be afforded the same benefits as the civilian spouses of military men including use of the commissary base exchange and military medical facilities And housing became available at married rate In 1975 the Department of Defense ordered the services to discontinue the practice of discharging women for pregnancy although the debates about family policy did not lessen An A1C discusses procedures for using tape drive machine at the Pentagon 1970s Increasing the

    Original URL path: http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/History/1970s.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Women In Military Service For America Memorial
    ship tows three minesweepers to the Persian Gulf in 1988 We have wonderful servicewomen doing extraordinary things and doing very well but we have taken a male institution and turned it into a coed institution and it has been a traumatic exercise for us GEN John Vessey Jr Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated in 1984 The effect of these servicewomen on military readiness and mission accomplishment became a major issue of the decade Member of first ever all female parachute jump at Fort Bragg NC packs up her parachute bag 1980 Debate flew between military leaders opposed to increasing women s role in the services and civilian officials committed to strengthening the armed forces through expanding the utilization of women and ensuring fair treatment and professional equity for them In the end the decade reflected a 1982 memorandum to the service secretaries from Caspar Weinberger Secretary of Defense under President Ronald Reagan Qualified women are essential to obtaining the numbers of qualified people required to maintain the readiness of our forces While we have made progress some institutional barriers still exist This Department must aggressively break down those remaining barriers that prevent us from making the fullest

    Original URL path: http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/History/1980s.html (2016-02-09)
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