Women Medal Recipients
Women In WWI
Thirty Thousand Women Were There
In 1901 and 1908 the establishment of the Army and Navy Nurse Corps opened the door for women
in the military but ever so slightly. It wasn't until the United States got involved in World War One
that some parts of the government got serious about using woman power.
As the Army stumbled around bureaucratic red tape trying to figure out how to enlist women the
Navy simply ignored the War Department dissenters and quickly recruited women. Nearly 13,000
women enlisted in the Navy and the Marine Corps on the same status as men and wore a uniform
blouse with insignia. The Navy's policy was extended to the Coast Guard, but personnel records
from World War I contain scarcely any references to the Coast Guard Yeomanettes. A handful of
them apparently were employed at the diminutive Coast Guard headquarters building in
Washington. Nineteen-year-old twin sisters Genevieve and Lucille Baker transferred from the Naval
Coastal Defense Reserve to become the first uniformed women in the Coast Guard. With the war's
end the Coast Guard Yeomanettes, along with their Navy and Marine Corps counterparts, were
mustered out of the service.
These were the first women in the U.S to be admitted to some military rank and status.
WWI Yeomanettes At Mare Island Naval Shipyard California
Sign reads "While the boys were away we worked for Victory"