Since March is Women's History Month it is important to take some time to honor the courage, contributions and memories of women in the military.

From the birth of our nation, women have fought alongside men, often without public recognition or inclusion in history books.

Beginning with protecting the home while men fought in the Revolutionary War, these women paved the way for future generations of brave female warriors to serve their country.


As the first documented woman to serve in a war, Margaret Corbin was awarded a disability pension for her contributions during the Revolutionary War.


Disguised as a man, Elizabeth C. Newcume fought in the Mexican War until it was discovered that she was a woman. After serving for nearly 10 months, she was discharged, but fought to be paid for her time in the military by the government. Through an extraordinary act of the United States Congress, Elizabeth's service was recognized through land and backpay.


The first and only women to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor was Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, a Civil War surgeon. However, in 1917, her medal was rescinded because of new eligibility rules established by the government. Years later, in 1977, President Jimmy Carter reinstated Mary's medal.

1917 and 1918

The first women to enlist were Loretta Walsh (Navy), Opha M. Johnson (Marine Corps Reserve), and Genevieve and Lucille Baker (Coast Guard).


For her service during the attacks on Pearl Harbor at Hickam Field, Annie G. Fox became the first woman to receive the Purple Heart. The prestigious award is given to military members that have been wounded or killed during action.


During the Vietnam War, Master Sergeant Barbara J. Dulinsky became the first female Marine in a combat zone.


The first group of women to achieve the rank of Brigadier General were Elizabeth P. Hoisington (Army), Margaret A. Brewer (Marines) and Jeanne M. Holm (Air Force).


The USS Opportune came under the direction of Commander Darlene Iskra, making her the first woman to helm a Navy ship.