Women In The U.S. NAVY 1908 to Present Day



Establishment Of The NAVY Nurse Corps
May 13th. 1908




Public Law No. 115, H.R. 20471, 13 May 1908 CHAP. 166.-An Act Making appropriations for the naval service for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and nine, and for other purposes...
[Note: The following is an extract from the section on the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, providing the full text of the portion relating to women.]
The nurse corps (female) of the United States Navy is hereby established, and shall consist of one superintendent, to be appointed by the Secretary of the Navy, who shall be a graduate of a hospital training school having a course of instruction of not less than two years, whose term of office may be terminated at his discretion, and of as many chief nurses, nurses, and reserve nurses as may be needed:
Provided, That all nurses in the nurse corps shall be appointed or removed by the Surgeon-General, with the approval of the Secretary of the Navy, and that they shall be graduates of hospital training schools having a course of instruction not less than two years.
The appointment of superintendent, chief nurses, nurses, and reserve nurses shall be subject to an examination as to their professional, moral, mental, and physical fitness, and that they shall be eligible for duty at naval hospitals and on board of hospital and ambulance ships and for such special duty as may be deemed necessary by the Surgeon-General of the Navy.
Reserve nurses may be assigned to active duty when the necessities of the service demand, and when on such duty shall receive the pay and allowances of nurses: Provided, That they shall receive no compensation except when on active duty. The superintendent, chief nurses, and nurses shall respectively receive the same pay, allowances, emoluments, and privileges as are now or may hereafter be provided by or in pursuance of law for the nurse corps (female) of the Army.



Establishment Of Yeomen(F), August 29th. 1918




During March, 1917, as the United States was reaching her final decision to enter the World War, the Navy's need for clerical assistance was far greater than had been anticipated. Shore stations, whose activities had been increased by the preparation for war, were asking for assistance. Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels in describing the situation stated:
"There was no appropriation to pay civilians for the work that was immediately necessary. Every bureau and naval establishment appealed for clerks and stenographers. How could they be secured at once? The Civil Service Commission could not furnish a tithe of the number required, even if there had been the money to pay them.
"`Is there any law that says a yeoman must be a man? I asked my legal advisers. The answer is that there was not, but that only men had heretofore been enlisted. The law did not say `male.
"`Then enroll women in the Naval Reserve as yeomen, I said, `and we will have the best clerical assistance the country can provide."
This was done under provisions of the Act of August 29, 1916, which established the Naval Reserve Force To be composed of six classes:
First. The Fleet Naval Reserve.
Second. The Naval Reserve
Third. The Naval Auxiliary Reserve
Fourth. The Naval Coast Defense Reserve
Fifth. The Volunteer Naval Reserve
Sixth. Naval Reserve Flying Corps.
The Naval Coast Defense Reserve was to be composed of: "Members of the Naval Reserve Force who may be capable of performing special useful service in the Navy or in connection with the Navy in defense of the coast shall be eligible for membership in the Naval Coast Defense Reserve.
The Navy Department sent the following letter on March 19, 1917, to all Commandants of Naval Districts on the Enrollment of women in the Naval Coast Defense Reserve:
"1. The following decision of the Navy Department is quoted for your information:-- May women be enrolled in the Naval Coast Defense Reserve? After a careful reading of that part of the Act of August 29, 1916, which created the Naval Reserve Force, of which the Naval Coast Defense Reserve is a class, nothing can be found which would prohibit the enrollment in the Naval Reserve Force and in the class mentioned of women. On the contrary, it is believed that their enrollment was contemplated. You are informed, therefore, that women may be enrolled in the this class of the Naval Reserve Force."
2. The Bureau authorizes the enrollment of women in the Naval Coast Defense Reserve in the ratings of yeomen, electrician (radio) or in such other ratings as the Commandant may consider essential to the district organizations.
3. In making monthly report of personnel, a separate list shall be submitted of women reservists in the Naval Coast Defense Reserve."
Immediately after the United States went to war against the Central Powers the enrollment of women was taken up on a large scale in order to release enlisted men for active service at sea. As a result a total of 11,275 Yeomen (F) were in service at the time the armistice was signed and most of the immense volume of clerical work at the Navy Department, in addition to many highly important special duties, was being handled by them.
In addition to the purely clerical duties performed by the Yeomen (F), others served as translators, draftsmen, fingerprint-experts, camouflage designers and recruiting agents. Five Yeomen (F), enlisted in the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, served with hospital units in France. One served in connection with the operations of the office of Naval Intelligence in Puerto Rico.
Yeomen (F) were stationed at Guam, the Panama Canal zone and Hawaii, in addition to the United States and France. About 300 marinettes, as the feminine enlisted personnel of the Marine Corps was designated, were on duty during the war. Most of them were stationed at Marine Corps Headquarters at the Navy Department although a number performed reliable service in connection with Marine Corps recruiting.
(Attached are summaries showing Yeomen (F) on active duty as of April 1, 1917 to July 1, 1919, and number of Yeomen (F) enrolled, listed according to states of residence.) All Yeomen (F) were released from active duty by July 31, 1919, and to them Secretary Daniels sent the Following message:
"It is with deep gratitude for the splendid service rendered by the Yeomen (F) during our national emergency that I convey to them the sincere appreciation of the Navy Department for their patriotic cooperation.
As enrollments had been made for four years, the Yeomen (F) were continued on the rolls of the Navy in inactive status and received the retainer pay of $12.00 a year until the expiration of enlistment, when they are discharged from the Naval Service.
A large number of women who had been on duty in the Navy Department and at Navy Yards and Stations, were given temporary appointments to same or similar positions under the Civil Service, but had pass an examination given by the Commission to qualify for permanent appointment.
The former Yeomen (F) who had received honorable discharges were included in provisions for military preference and allowed an increase of five per cent on Civil Service ratings. They were included in all subsequent benefits affecting World War Veterans.(Enlistments by States)
Alabama - 21
Alaska -- 0
Arizona - 3
Arkansas - 12
California - 557
Colorado - 17
Connecticut - 315
Delaware - 5
District of Columbia-1,874
Florida - 31
Georgia - 30
Idaho - 6
Illinois - 210
Indiana - 45
Iowa - 47
Kansas - 32
Kentucky - 35
Louisiana - 128
Maine - 72
Maryland - 418
Massachusetts - 1,324
Michigan - 49
Minnesota - 80
Mississippi - 36
Missouri - 40
Montana - 13
Nebraska - 11
Nevada - 4
New Hampshire - 80
New Jersey - 352
New Mexico - 1
New York - 2,329
North Carolina - 190
North Dakota - 10
Ohio - 207
Oklahoma - 33
Oregon - 79
Pennsylvania - 1,067
Rhode Island - 235
South Carolina - 143
South Dakota - 11
Tennessee - 53
Texas - 107
Utah - 20
Virginia - 1,071
Washington - 179
West Virginia - 137
Wisconsin - 92
Wyoming - 2
Guam - 0
Hawaii - 24
Philippines - 0
Puerto Rico - 0
Samoa - 0
Others - 29
No Residence - 10
Virgin Islands



Establishment Of The Women Reserve-July 30th. 1942




AN ACT
To expedite the war effort by releasing officers and men for duty at sea and their replacement by women in the shore establishment of the Navy, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Naval Reserve Act of 1938, as amended, is further amended by adding after section 401 thereof an additional title as follows:
TITLE V--WOMEN'S RESERVE "SEC. 501. A Women's Reserve is hereby established which shall be a branch of the Naval Reserve and shall be administered under the same provisions in all respects (except as may be necessary to adapt said provisions to the Women's Reserve, or as specifically provided herein) as those contained in this Act or which may hereafter be enacted with respect to the Volunteer Reserve.
"SEC. 502. Members of the Women's Reserve may be commissioned or enlisted in such appropriate ranks and ratings, corresponding to those of the Regular Navy, as may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Navy: Provided, That there shall not be more than one officer in the grade of lieutenant commander; nor more than thirty-five officers in the grade of lieutenant; and that the number of officers in the grade of lieutenant (junior grade) shall not exceed 35 per centum of the total number of commissioned officers: And provided further, That military authority of officers commissioned under the provisions of this Act may be exercised over women of the Reserve only and is limited to the administration of the Women's Reserve.
"SEC. 503. The Reserve established by this title shall be composed of members who have attained the age of twenty years. "SEC. 504. Members of the Women's Reserve shall be restricted to the performance of shore duty within the continental United States only and shall not be assigned to duty on board vessels of the Navy or in combat aircraft.
"SEC. 505. Members of the Women's Reserve shall not be used to replace civil-service personnel employed in the Naval Establishment, but shall be composed of women trained and qualified for duty in the shore establishment of the Navy to release male officers and enlisted men of the naval service for duty at sea.
"SEC. 506. The benefits provided by section 4 of the Act approved August 27, 1940 (Public, Numbered 775, Seventy-sixth Congress), and by the Act approved March 17, 1941 (Public Law Numbered 16, Seventy-seventh Congress), shall not be applicable to members of the Women's Reserve who suffer disability or death in line of duty from disease or injury while employed on active duty: Provided, That if any member of the Women's Reserve suffers disability or death from disease or injury incurred in line of duty while employed on active duty, she or her beneficiaries shall be entitled to all the benefits prescribed by law for civil employees of the United States who are physically injured or who die as a result thereof.
"SEC. 507. The Secretary of the Navy shall fix the money value of the articles of uniform and equipment which enlisted members of the Women's Reserve are required to have upon their first reporting for active duty: Provided, That he may authorize such articles of uniform and equipment, or parts thereof, to be issued in kind, or, in lieu thereof, that payment in cash of the money value fixed in accordance with the foregoing, not to exceed $200, be made to such members so ordered to active duty, for the purchase of such articles of uniform and equipment.
"SEC. 508. The authority conferred by this Act for appointments and enlistments in the Women's Reserve shall be effective during the present war and for six months thereafter, or until such earlier time as the Congress by concurrent resolution or the President by proclamation may designate."
Approved, July 30, 1942. Source: United States Statutes at Large Containing the Laws and Concurrent Resolutions Enacted During the Second Session of the Seventy-Seventh Congress of the United States of America 1942 and Treaties, International Agreements Other than Treaties, and Proclamations. vol. 56, pt.1. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1943. pp. 730-31.



Z-Gram-#-116, August 7th.1972 ,Equal Rights For Women




Z-gram #116 (Equal rights and opportunities for women), dated 7 August 1972
CNO {Z-116}
TO: NAVOP
UNCLAS //N05350//071115Z AUG 72
EQUAL RIGHTS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN IN THE NAVY
1. THERE HAS BEEN MUCH DISCUSSION AND DEBATE WITH RESPECT TO EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR WOMEN IN OUR COUNTRY OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS. MY POSITION WITH RESPECT TO WOMEN IN THE NAVY IS THAT THEY HAVE HISTORICALLY PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF OUR NAVAL MISSION. HOWEVER, I BELIEVE WE CAN DO FAR MORE THAN WE HAVE IN THE PAST IN ACCORDING WOMEN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO CONTRIBUTE THEIR EXTENSIVE TALENTS AND TO ACHIEVE FULL PROFESSIONAL STATUS. MOREOVER, THE IMMINENCE OF AN ALL VOLUNTEER FORCE HAS HEIGHTENED THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN AS A VITAL PERSONNEL RESOURCE. I FORESEE THAT IN THE NEAR FUTURE WE MAY VERY WELL HAVE AUTHORITY TO UTILIZE OFFICER AND ENLISTED WOMEN ON BOARD SHIPS. IN VIEW OF THIS POSSIBILITY WE MUST BE IN A POSITION TO UTILIZE WOMEN'S TALENTS TO HELP US ACHIEVE THE SIZE NAVY WE NEED UNDER AN ALL VOLUNTEER FORCE ENVIRONMENT AND STILL MAINTAIN THE SEA SHORE ROTATION GOALS FOR ALL NAVAL PERSONNEL TOWARDS WHICH WE HAVE BEEN WORKING. TO THIS END THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY AND I HAVE ESTABLISHED A TASK FORCE TO LOOK AT ALL LAWS, REGULATIONS AND POLICIES THAT MUST BE CHANGED IN ORDER TO ELIMINATE ANY DISADVANTAGES TO WOMEN RESULTING FROM EITHER LEGAL OR ATTITUDINAL RESTRICTIONS.
2. AS ANOTHER STEP TOWARD ENSURING THAT WOMEN IN THE NAVY WILL HAVE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO CONTRIBUTE THEIR TALENTS AND background TO ACCOMPLISHMENT OF OUR MISSIONS, WE ARE TAKING
THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS: A. IN ADDITION TO THE ENLISTED RATINGS THAT HAVE RECENTLY BEEN OPENED, AUTHORIZE LIMITED ENTRY OF ENLISTED WOMEN INTO ALL RATINGS.
B. THE ULTIMATE GOAL, ASSIGNMENT OF WOMEN TO SHIPS AT SEA, WILL BE TIMED TO COINCIDE WITH FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF PENDING LEGISLATION. AS AN IMMEDIATE STEP, A LIMITED NUMBER OF OFFICER AND ENLISTED WOMEN ARE BEING ASSIGNED to THE SHIP'S COMPANY OF USS SANCTUARY AS A PILOT PROGRAM. THIS PROGRAM WILL PROVIDE VALUABLE PLANNING INFORMATION REGARDING THE PROSPECTIVE INCREASED UTILIZATION OF WOMEN AT SEA.
C. PENDING FORMAL CHANGES TO NAVY REGULATIONS SUSPEND RESTRICTIONS REGARDING WOMEN SUCCEEDING TO COMMAND ASHORE AND ASSIGN THEM ACCORDINGLY.
D. ACCEPT APPLICATIONS FROM WOMEN OFFICERS FOR THE CHAPLAIN AND CIVIL ENGINEER CORPS, THEREBY OPENING ALL STAFF CORPS TO WOMEN.
E. EXPAND ASSIGNMENT OF TECHNICALLY QUALIFIED UNRESTRICTED LINE WOMEN TO RESTRICTED LINE BILLETS AND, AT THE TIME OF LEGISLATIVE AUTHORIZATION, PERMIT THEM TO REQUEST DESIGNATOR CHANGES
F. OFFER VARIOUS PATHS OF PROGRESSION TO FLAG RANK WITHIN THE TECHNICAL, MANAGERIAL SPECTRUM IN ESSENTIALLY THE SAME MANNER AS WE ARE CONTEMPLATING FOR MALE OFFICERS.
G. ASSIGN THE DETAILING OF UNRESTRICTED WOMEN OFFICERS TO THEIR COGNIZANT GRADE DETAILERS.
H. INCREASE OPPORTUNITY FOR WOMEN'S PROFESSIONAL GROWTH BY:
{1} ELIMINATING THE PATTERN OF ASSIGNING WOMEN EXCLUSIVELY TO CERTAIN BILLETS, AND
{2} ASSIGNING QUALIFIED WOMEN TO THE FULL SPECTRUM OF CHALLENGING BILLETS, INCLUDING THOSE OF BRIEFERS, AIDES, DETAILERS, PLACEMENT/RATING CONTROL OFFICERS, ATTACHES, SERVICE COLLEGE FACULTY MEMBERS, EXECUTIVE ASSISTANTS, SPECIAL ASSISTANTS TO CNO, MAAGS/MISSIONS, SENIOR ENLISTED ADVISORS, PEP, ETC.
I. EQUALIZE SELECTION CRITERIA FOR NAVAL TRAINING BY: {1} OPENING MIDSHIPMEN PROGRAMS TO WOMEN AT ALL NROTC CAMPUSES EFFECTIVE IN FY-74, AND
{2} CONSIDERING WOMEN FOR SELECTION TO JOINT COLLEGES {NATIONAL WAR COLLEGE/INDUSTRIAL COLLEGE OF THE ARMED FORCES}.
3. FINALLY, I ENJOIN ALL COMMANDING OFFICERS AND OTHER IN POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY TO ACTIVELY REFLECT THE SPIRIT AND INTENT OF THIS MESSAGE IN THEIR OWN COMMAND REGULATIONS, POLICIES AND ACTIONS. SPECIFICALLY, I EXPECT EACH COMMANDING OFFICER TO:
A. INITIATE SIMILAR EQUALIZATION ACTIONS IN MATTERS WITHIN THEIR PURVIEW TO ENSURE THAT WOMEN ARE ACCORDED FULL TRUST AND RESPONSIBILITY TO FUNCTION IN THEIR ASSIGNED POSITION OR SPECIALTY.
B. BE GUIDED BY STANDARDS OF DUTY, PERFORMANCE AND DISCIPLINE WHICH ARE TRULY EQUITABLE FOR BOTH WOMEN AND MEN.
4. IN SUMMARY, WE ALL MUST ACTIVELY WORK TOGETHER IN ORDER THAT WE MAY MORE EQUITABLY INCLUDE WOMEN IN OUR ONE-NAVY CONCEPT.
E. R. ZUMWALT, JR., ADMIRAL, U. S. NAVY,
CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS