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CAREERS IN GOVERNMENT


Little Known Facts - Women in the Military D


ID YOU KNOW women did not of- ficially serve in the U.S. military un-


til the Army and Navy Nurse Corps were established in 1901 and 1908 respectively. Prior to that time, women served with the armed forces as contract and volunteer nurses, cooks, and laundresses and even in disguise as soldiers. For example, dur- ing the American Revolution, Deborah Samson enlisted in the Continental Army as Robert Shurtliff and served as an en- listed soldier for approximately one year. Hundreds of women disguised themselves as men and served in the Union and Con- federate Armies during the Civil War. By the turn of the century, however, this course of action was no longer available to women. The armed forces, wanting to make certain that only healthy men were accepted in the service, began conducting thorough examinations of all potential re- cruits. (Source: Women in Military Ser- vice for America Memorial archives)


DID YOU KNOW the U.S. Public


Health Service Commissioned Corps is an elite team of more than 6,000 full-time, well-trained, highly qualified public health professionals dedicated to delivering the Nation’s public health promotion and dis- ease prevention programs and advancing public health science. Driven by a passion for public service, these men and women serve on the frontlines in the Nation’s fight against disease and poor health con- ditions. As one of America’s seven uni- formed services, the Commissioned Corps fills essential public health leadership and service roles within the Nation’s Federal Government agencies and programs.


DID YOU KNOW Dr. Mary E. Walker


was awarded the Medal of Honor for her service as a contract surgeon in the Union Army during the Civil War. She is the only woman who has received the nation’s highest military award. The medal was awarded for her work as a physician on the battlefield and in military hospitals without regard to her own health and safe- ty. When the criteria for awarding the


52 PROFESSIONAL WOMAN’S MULTICULTURAL MAGAZINE


medal changed in 1917, Dr. Walker’s medal was rescinded along with 900 oth- ers. In 1977, due to the persistent efforts of the Walker family, the Army Board of Corrections reviewed the case and re- versed the 1917 decision, thus restoring the Medal of Honor to Dr. Walker. (Source: Women In Military Service For America Memorial archives)


DID YOU KNOW in the fall of 1976,


women enrolled in the military service academies? Only months after President Gerald Ford signed Public Law 94-106, establishing the admission of women into the academies, 119 women entered West Point, 81 entered the US Naval Academy, and 157 enrolled at the US Air Force Academy. Women also enrolled in the Coast Guard Academy and the Merchant Marine Academy. (Source: Women In Military Service For America Memorial archives)


DID YOU KNOW over 1,500 nurses


served with the Army in the Spanish- American War. These nurses served with the Army in Hawaii, Cuba, the Philip- pines, Puerto Rico, on the hospital ship Relief and in stateside hospitals. Dita Kin- ney, former contract nurse, became the first Superintendent of the Army Nurse Corps when it was founded in 1901. Es- ther Voorhees Hasson, one of the Relief nurses during the war became the first Su- perintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps in 1908. (Source: Women In Military Ser- vice For America Memorial archives)


DID YOU KNOW that the Women’s


Memorial honors all U.S. servicewomen, past, present and future, including living or deceased women veterans; Active Duty, Reserve, Guard and US Public Health Service uniformed women; and women in the Coast Guard auxiliary and Civil Air Patrol. The Memorial also honors women who served overseas during conflicts, in direct support of the armed forces, in or- ganizations such as the Red Cross, USO and Special Services; and members of the


CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF DIVERSITY


US Public Health Service Cadet Nurse Corps. The Foundation is seeking names, addresses, photos and memorable experi- ences of women who have served to be included in the Memorial’s Register, an interactive computer database available at the Memorial. Deceased servicewomen from any era or those civilian women who served with other civilian organizations can be registered by family members, friends and organizations. Visit www.wo- mensmemorial.com for more informa- tion.


DID YOU KNOW there are over 50 monuments dedicated to women Veterans or by women Veterans organizations in our VA national cemeteries. Some of VA National Cemetery Administration’s old- est monuments dedicated to women date back to the late 1800s. (Source: VA Na- tional Cemetery Administration)


DID YOU KNOW Anna Mae Hays,


Chief of the Army Nurse Corps, became a brigadier general on June 11, 1970. Min- utes later, Elizabeth P. Hoisington, Direc- tor of the Women’s Army Corps, received her shoulder stars. In 1971, the Air Force promoted the director of Air Force wom- en, Jeanne M. Holm, to brigadier general. A few months later, Ann E. Hoefly, the Chief of the Air Force Nurse Corps, be- came the fourth woman general. In 1972, Alene B. Duerk, Chief of the Navy Nurse Corps, received a spot promotion to be- come the first female rear admiral (lower half), the Navy’s equivalent to brigadier general. The Navy promoted a female line officer, Fran McKee, to flag rank in 1976. RADM McKee thus became the first Navy woman who was not a nurse to achieve star rank. Two years later in 1978, the Ma- rine Corps promoted its Director of Infor- mation and former Director of Women Marines, Margaret Brewer, to brigadier general. Director of Information and Technology, Chief Information Officer Vivien Crae was promoted to rear admiral by the Coast Guard in 2000. (Source: Women In Military Service For America Memorial archives)


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