In August 1963, Lieutenant Commander Vila Hovis received orders to Saigon, Vietnam. The orders were not a surprise because she was the first Navy nurse to volunteer for service in that far-off corner of the world. Her orders directed her current command to “ENSURE THAT SHE IS ORIENTED IN CODE OF CONDUCT . . . AND DANGERS OF COMMUNISM.” It was apparent that Commander Hovis was headed for a war zone, though not for the first time, since she had been a flight nurse in Korea more than a decade before. But these were the early days in a new… Read the rest of this entry »
Archive for the 'Women' Category
This year is the Year of the Military Woman, and the Naval History and Heritage Command would like to honor all the women who serve and have served this great nation. This Joint Resolution of Congress (1971) designated Women’s Equality Day. The date of August 26th was selected to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. Please help us highlight those who have gone before in this important matter. See http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq48-1.htm for options to highlight Women’s Equality Day.
On July 30, 1942 President Roosevelt signed into law the establishment of the WAVES (Woman Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). Establishing the WAVES was a lengthy effort. Inter-war changes in the Naval Reserve legislation specifically limited service to men, so new legislation was essential. The next few months saw the commissioning of Mildred McAfee, and several other prominent female educators and professionals, to guide the new organization. Just one year later in July 1943, 27,000 women wore the WAVES uniform. The WAVES performed jobs in fields such as aviation, clerical, medical, communication, legal, intelligence, and science and technology. The wartime… Read the rest of this entry »
May 28th, 1980 First women graduate from USNA In October, 1975, President Gerald Ford signed a bill which included a mandate stating that the United States’ military academies were to begin admitting women in the fall of 1976. This full integration of the sevice academies required much forethought and preparation to ensure that female students would have the same experiences and opportunities as their male counterparts, but it was a landmark acheivement for women in the services. In April 1976, Proceedings incleded a special news release from the U. S. Naval Academy which detailed the many changes and considerations which had been… Read the rest of this entry »
March 7th, 1994 The U. S. Navy issues first orders for women aboard a combat ship: the USS Eisenhower (CVN-69) The U. S. Navy issued the first set of orders to women for duty aboard a combat ship, the USS Eisenhower (CVN-69) on March 7, 1994. By June 25th, when this photo of a watertight door proudly labeled “FEMALE OFFICERS COUNTRY” was snapped as ‘A Sign of the Times’ eighty-seven women were aboard the ship as crew members, and approximately 500 women were expected aboard (as ship’s crew or members of an embarked air wing) by the following October for the next… Read the rest of this entry »
Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels authorized the enlistment of women on 19 March 1917 to help alleviate a projected shortage of clerical workers. They served under Class 4 of the 1916 United States Naval Reserve Force that provided for the first enrollment or enlistment of officer and enlisted personnel. Loretta Perfectus Walsh of Olyphant, Pennsylvania, became the first woman to enlist on 21 March 1917. By the time war with Germany was officially declared on 6 April, 200 women had joined her. To distinguish these women from their male counterparts the Navy established the rate of Yeoman (F), though… Read the rest of this entry »
March is Women’s History Month and NavyTV thought it would be appropriate to reintroduce the Navy’s top four Sailors in 2010 — the first time all four awardees were women! Meet HMC Ingrid J. Cortez, OSC Samira McBride, HMC Shalanda L. Brewer, and CTC Cassandra L. Foote, as they talk about their pride in their work and their responsibility to their Sailors here on NavyTV. In July, 2010, the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead presided over the pinning ceremony for the four Sailors of the Year, the first year all four awardees were women.