During the American Revolution, women served as nurses, cooks, laundresses and unobtrusively, as saboteurs (Women’s Memorial “Education”). And again, during the Civil War, they rendered nursing care to the wounded. For some women who wanted to join the combat, they resorted to disguising themselves as men (Women’s Memorial “Education”). The traditional role as nurses and caretakers was still the dominant role that many women played in the wars that followed American history (Mexican War, Spanish-American War). Their role as nurse was later institutionalized with the establishment of the Army Nurse Corps and the Navy Nurse Corps just before the First World War was declared. During the First World War, women’s roles expanded to being telephone operators, stenographers, and nurses in the battlefield (Women’s Memorial “Education”). As battlefield nurses, they were now closer to the conflict and as such, they too suffered the ravages, the injuries, and the deadly effects of war. In the years that followed the First World War, women were given more recognition in terms of military rank; and they were later granted higher ranks from second lieutenant to major (Women’s Memorial “Education”). During the Second World War, most of the women in the military were still nurses; serving stateside and also overseas. They also suffered war atrocities as many of them were captured as prisoners of war (POWs). Many women were also trained as civil service pilots “flying stateside missions as ferries, test pilots and anti-aircraft artillery trainers (Women’s Memorial “Education”). For the navy, they filled various roles in communications, intelligence, supply, and administration. In the marines, they served as clerks, cooks, mechanics, and drivers (Women’s Memorial “Education”). In 1948, their role in the military found more legal support with the establishment of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act (Women’s Memorial “Education”). In the years that followed the Second World War, the role of the women in the military was still very much in the medical or nursing aspect. Only in the 1960s was a woman promoted to Sergeant major in the marines; and she was the first woman to serve under hostile fire (Women’s Memorial “Education”). The Vietnam War also saw women serving in combat. The trend of women serving in the
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