Almost Integrated? American Servicewomen and Their International Sisters Since WWII

TitleAlmost Integrated? American Servicewomen and Their International Sisters Since WWII
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsCampbell, D'Ann
EditorHacker, Barton C., and Margaret Vining
Book TitleA Companion to Women's Military History
CityLeiden; Boston

Making American women soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines was the most dramatic break with traditional gender roles that occurred in the twentieth century. This chapter overviews the various and changing roles that servicewomen have played since World War II and suggests roles service women can play in the American military of the future. It includes the contributions and limitations faced by servicewomen during wartime—Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, the Middle East—and during peacetime. The chapter highlights turning points such as the Army–Navy Nurse Act and the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of the late 1940s. By the end of World War II, nurses had secured a critical role for themselves in any future force. The chapter compares and contrasts the roles of servicewomen in other nations, especially members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which have in some cases led, in others followed, American example.

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