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Women in the military- Raven Crites and Victoria Fleming
2 Dec 2017
During the Revolutionary War, women follow their husbands to war out of necessity. Many serve in military camps as laundresses, cooks, and nurses but only with permission from the commanding officers and only if they proved they were helpful.
Deborah Sampson serves for over a year in General Washington’s army disguised as a man. After being wounded, her gender is discovered and she is honorably discharged. Later, she receives a military pension from the Continental Congress.
During the American Civil War, women serve as matrons (administrators) of hospitals as well as nurses and cooks in battlefield hospitals. Wealthy women help fund permanent hospitals. Dr. Mary Walker becomes the only women to receive the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor. Women also serve as spies and some, disguised as men, serve as soldiers.
Congress passes the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act granting women permanent status in the military subject to military authority and regulations and entitled to veterans benefits.
The military draft (only for males) ends and an all-volunteer military is formed creating opportunities for women.
Captain Kathleen McGrath becomes the first woman to command a U.S. Navy warship. The vessel is assigned to the Persian Gulf.
Pentagon task force establishes a “Risk Rule” to determine where women could serve.
Congressional commission recommends ending gender restrictions for all military career fields and combat exclusion policies that bar women from some 200,000 positions. Pentagon begins women in service review.
Marine Corps creates experimental ground combat task force including women assigned to infantry, armor, tanks, artillery. Army selects 31 women who pass Ranger prep course to serve as observers/advisors at Army Ranger school.
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