According to Captain Barbara A. Wilson, USAF (Ret), over 30,000 American women served in World War I, before they could even vote!
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.