A Century of Service: Women in the
Armed Forces

Loretta Perfectus (Walsh) Bowman, the first woman enlisted in the US Naval Reserve Force, 1917 Loretta (Walsh) Bowman Collection, Gift of James J. Walsh, Women’s Memorial Foundation Collection.

A significant milestone in the course of the U.S. Navy, the military and the nation will see major attention in 2017 and 2018 – the 100th anniversary of the first woman to enlist in the U.S. Navy on active duty. Her name was Loretta Perfectus Walsh, from Philadelphia, and she had the equal distinction of being the first woman allowed to serve in any of the U.S. armed forces. Walsh became the first female petty officer and eventually the first chief yeoman.

At age 20, on March 17, 1917, Walsh engaged in a four-year enlistment in the U.S. Navy, becoming the first active-duty Navy woman, the first woman to enlist in the Navy, and the first woman to serve in any of the armed forces in a non-nurse occupation. On March 19, 1917, the Navy Department authorized enrollment of women in the Naval Reserve with ratings of yeoman, radio electrician, or other essential ratings, becoming the first branch of the United States armed forces to allow enlistment by women in a non-nursing capacity. Walsh subsequently became the first woman Navy petty officer when she was sworn in as chief yeoman on March 21, 1917.

More than 200,000 women are in the active-duty military, including 69 generals and admirals.

The Publication

As we enter the second century of women serving in the U.S. armed forces, more and more women are involved in various aspects of the services, including leading key combatant commands, operating as fighter pilots, commanding warships and even attempting to become Navy SEALS. Thus it is significant that the U.S. Navy is taking the important step to acknowledge this important centenary event.

Leading military publisher Faircount, with the assistance of Military.com, VFW, The Women’s Memorial, and the Navy History & Heritage Command, will produce a special commemorative publication celebrating 100 years of the enlisted woman. A Century of Service: Women in the Armed Forces will trace the historic timeline of women’s important role in a century of the nation’s defense while examining the current climate of optimism and the future prospects as women’s rights in the military mature and evolve.

DIGITAL EDITION: Readers can read on or offline, click your link to go to your website, view promotional videos that appear within the publication, and share content with colleagues via social media and email. Through our partners, we expect to deliver at least 3 million digital impressions of the digital edition.


There are approximately 36,000 women in the officer corps.


Military.com, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Women’s Memorial have partnered with us to share A Century of Service: Women in the Armed Forces via social media and newsletters with their followers, members, and subscribers. Combined, these organizations represent nearly 3,000,000 active-duty service members, retirees, and veterans and their family members, as well as military enthusiasts.

A Century of Service: Women In the Armed Forces will see extensive nationwide distribution in print and digital format, on a name and title basis, directly to the offices of senior leadership and personnel throughout the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, civilian federal agencies, national and state-level veterans service organizations, and key organizations serving women, including but not limited to:

• AcademyWomen
• Air Force Women Officers Associated
• All Navy Women’s National Alliance
• American Women Veterans
• Army Nurse Corps Association
• Army Women’s Foundation
• Army Women’s Museum
• Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
• Fatigues to Fabulous
• Foundation for Women Warriors
• Grace After Fire
• Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)
• National Alliance of Women Veterans
• National Association of Black Military Women
• National Association of State Women Veteran Coordinators
• National League of Female Veterans
• National Women Veterans United
• Navy Nurse Corps Association
• Operation Reinvent
• Paralyzed Veterans of America
• Sea Service Leadership Association
• Service Women’s Action Network
• She Served
• The American Legion
• Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
• Vietnam Women Veterans, Inc.
• Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation, Inc.
• Women in Defense
• Women In Military Service For America Memorial
• Women Marines Association
• Women Military Aviators
• Women Veterans Business Centers

There are 2.2 million living women Veterans.

Health care was the top field for female officers, at 39 percent. They make up nearly 28 percent of administrative officers, 19 percent of intelligence officers and 18 percent of supply officers.



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Faircount creates highly targeted print and digital publications for the world’s most iconic institutions and historic national events. The company’s work within government and scientific sectors is second to none with a portfolio including an extensive range of commemorative publications developed in partnership with government departments and agencies. The company has published books for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, The King Center, National Council of Volunteer Firefighters, The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Foundation, Carnegie Hall Corporation, the Royal Navy (U.K.), Royal Australian Navy, DARPA and many others. More information is available at https://www.faircount.com



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