In our nation’s history, women have been both loud and quiet influencers in shaping this country — as wives, mothers, workers, teachers, and leaders. In March, we celebrate their many accomplishments.
Almost 210,000 women are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. military, constantly pushing boundaries and exceeding expectations. They carry the history of thousands of others, who began serving their country as cooks, nurses, and administrators in the Revolutionary War.
Today, they can serve as leaders in all jobs, in all branches of the military.
Here are 10 of our favorite moments highlighting female service members:
1. 1782: Deborah Sampson disguises herself as a man to serve in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.
2. 1865: Dr. Mary Walker becomes the only women to receive the Medal of Honor (and one of eight civilians), for her extraordinary heroism during the Civil War
3. 1948: Congress enacts the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, allowing women to serve as permanent, regular members of the U.S. military, and not just in times of war.
4. 2008: Army Gen. Ann Dunwoody becomes the first woman to become a four-star general.
5. 2010: The Navy rescinds its male-only submarine policy.
6. 1974: Women are admitted to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy for the first time, two years ahead of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and the U.S. Air Force Academy.
7. 2015: Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver become the first women to graduate from the elite Army Ranger School.
8. 2016: The Coast Guard Academy enrolls a class with a record 38 percent female cadets.
9. 2016: The Defense Department opens all combat jobs to women.
10. 2017: Simone Askew becomes West Point’s top cadet; the first black woman in this position.
Happy Women’s History Month. Thank you to all who serve.