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First Enlisted Women in the Navy

Recruited to serve for the duration of World War I in order to free up male personnel for duty at sea, nearly 11,000 women were in uniform by Armistice Day in 1918. Although they were subsequently discharged following the war’s end, they paved the way for the establishment of the WAVES in World War II and the integration of women into the regular Navy in 1948.

Last Updated: 29 March 2023



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