Women in the U.S. Military

Timeline of Women in the U.S. Military: 1778 - Molly Pitcher assumed her injured husband's spot on the cannon (Revolutionary War). 1901 - Women started serving on active duty in the U.S. Army. 1909 - Women started serving in the U.S. Navy. 1914-1918 (WWI) & 1939-1945 (WWII) - Numbers of women increased, primarily as nurses, and secretarial communications support personnel. 1994 - Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule opened jobs except for direct ground combat elements to women. After 2001 (Post 9/11) - >300,000 women deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. 2013 - Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta lifted the last remaining ban on women's participation in combat. 2016 - All military jobs opened to females.Women have served in the U.S. military throughout its history — either officially or unofficially — in both supporting roles and as combatants. Prior to World War I, women served primarily in the roles of nurse, physician, laundress, armament worker, communications support, as well as combatant. In 1901, women began officially serving in the U.S. Army and in the Navy in 1909. After World War I, women’s participation came to be regarded as a necessity rather than just an option during times of crisis. Since then, the numbers of women in the U.S. military has grown and female service members, who play broad and pivotal roles in military operations, are achieving milestones that put them increasingly on par with their male counterparts.