Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. Poster


Pictured here is a recruiting poster for The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) which was created on May 14, 1942, in response to the bombing on Pearl Harbor. After the completion of training, located at Fort Des Moines, women would be assigned to jobs in either banking, medical, clerical, or transportation. A little over a year later, President Roosevelt signed legislation making the organization an actual part of the United States Army, dropping the “auxiliary” out of the title. This made it so the approximate 350,000 female soldiers could be assigned to Army Air Forces as well as Ground and Service Forces. Specifically, the legislation allowed women to pursue careers as airplane mechanics, weather forecasters, telephone operators, and more. After the end of World War II, in 1948, the passing of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act allowed women to stay in the services permanently. Although it took time, the WAAC played a crucial role in pressuring the military and government to accept females as full-time soldiers.

That being said, women in the military have come a long way and the formation of the WAAC was just the beginning. Legislation has been a key factor in making a difference for females in the service. In order for President Nixon to end the draft and transition into an all-volunteer force, the military had to make the service appealing in order to gain recruits from unrepresented groups, like women. Later, the Persian Gulf War created the opportunity for women to work on military ships. Then, as discussed in my map post, female Soldiers completed Ranger School which pressured the government to allow females to work in combat arms environments. Without key legislation and the evidence of women succeeding in the military, females would not have been allowed to join a combat arms unit. Step by step, the United States military has opened the door for women to lead with their male counterparts.


Works Cited

Beaton, Gail M. “The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps and the Women’s Army Corps.” Colorado Women in World War II, 2020, pp. 46–65., doi:10.5876/9781646420339.c003.

Taylor, William. “From WACs to Rangers: Women in the U.S. Military Since World War II.” Marine Corps University Journal, no. Gender, 2018, pp. 78–101, https://doi.org/10.21140/mcuj.2018si04.

“Women in the United States Army.” Women in the U.S. Army | The United States Army, www.army.mil/women/history/wac.html.

Associated Place(s)


  • Courtesy of U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center