Celebrating National Women's History Month 2011


Thumbnail Sketches of America’s Military Women
Meet the 34 Remarkable Women Featured in the 2011 Poster

Drawn from the amazing archival photographs of the Women’s Memorial Foundation Collection, five central images spotlight military women serving today; and forming the poster’s historical framework are 29 images representing the remarkable legions of women who have served, beginning with the American Revolution.

Click on images to view large image

2nd Lt. Johanna Shaffer, U.S. Marine Corps
Operation Enduring Freedom
2nd Lt. Johanna Shaffer, team leader of an all-female team used by Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force and assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 3, shares a cookie and a smile with an Afghan child during her team’s first mission, Farah Province, Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom, Feb. 9, 2009.
USMC photo by Lance Cpl. Monty Burton


Staff Sgt. Virginia Andrews-Arce, U.S. Army
Operation Enduring Freedom
Staff Sgt. Virginia Andrews-Arce, a senior licensed practical nurse with the 541st Forward Surgical Team, comforts an Afghan boy following surgery, Camp Pannonia, Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom, Dec. 19, 2010.

DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Joseph Swafford, USAF


Landing Signal Officer, U.S. Navy
A landing signal officer guides aircraft into the landing area aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, South China Sea, Aug. 8, 2006.


USN photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Marcel A. Barbeau


Lt. j.g. Lashanda Holmes, U.S. Coast Guard
Global War on Terror
Lt. j.g. Lashanda Holmes, the first African American woman Coast Guard helicopter pilot, stands in front of an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles, Calif., August 2010. Click here to view NBC News interview with Lt. j.g. Holmes
USCG photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Eggers


Airman 1st Class Claudia Bone, U.S. Air Force
Global War On Terror
Airman 1st Class Claudia Bone, 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron, adjusts a vehicle’s brakes, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, July 29, 2010.
USAF photo by Airman 1st Class Desiree Esposito



Dr. Mary Edwards Walker
Union Army Surgeon, Civil War
Dr. Mary Edwards Walker was awarded the Medal of Honor for her service as a contract surgeon in the Union Army during the Civil War. The only woman who has received the nation’s highest military award, Dr. Walker, also an ex-Prisoner of War, was awarded the medal for her work as a physician on the battlefield and in military hospitals.
Library of Congress


Drill Sergeant
U.S. Army, 2000s
An Army female drill sergeant provides security for the color guard during an Army basic combat training graduation ceremony, Fort Jackson, S.C., June 16, 2006.
USAF photo by Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall



Master Chief Petty Officer Anna Der-Vartanian
U.S. Navy, 1960s
Navy YNCM Anna Der-Vartanian began her military career in 1943 when she enlisted in the WAVES. In 1946, she transitioned to the Navy and 13 years later she became the first woman in any of the services to advance to E-9, the highest enlisted grade. The master chief retired in 1963.
Women’s Memorial Foundation Register


Early Nursing
U.S. Army Nurse Corps, World War I
An Army nurse tends to a wounded solider, Evacuation Hospital No. 114, Fleury-sur-Aire, France, World War I.


National Archives (111-SC-26535)


Spc. 5 Karen Hampton
U.S. Army, 1970s
Spc. 5 Karen (Sellers) Hampton was the first woman selected as a demonstration jumper on the U.S. Army Parachute Team, “The Golden Knights,” 1979-1980.

Women’s Memorial Foundation Register


Women in the Civil War
Volunteer Unit, Civil War
Unidentified women’s volunteer unit, Washington, D.C., Civil War.


National Archives (64-M-306)


SPAR Clerk
U.S. Coast Guard, World War II
Coast Guard SPAR clerk, June 1944. Some 11,000 women answered their country’s call to serve in the Coast Guard during World War II—10,000 in its enlisted ranks and 1,000 in the officer corps.

USCG photo, Women’s Memorial Foundation Collection


2nd Lt. Emily Perez
U.S. Army, Operation Iraqi Freedom
2nd Lt. Emily J. Perez,a 2005 U.S. Military Academy graduate, deployed to Iraq in Dec,2005, with the Army’s 204th Support Battalion,2nd Brigade,4th Infantry,out of Fort Hood,Texas.On Sept. 12,2006, she was killed when an improvised explosive device detonated near her Humvee in Al Kifl, Iraq.
Women’s Memorial Foundation Collection


Staff Sgt. Eugenia Lopez
U.S. Air Force, Operation Iraqi Freedom
Staff Sgt. Eugenia Lopez monitors equipment in the central radar approach control facility, Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom, December 2003.

USAF photo by Airman 1st Class Alicia Sarkkinen


Lt. Melanie Knight
U.S. Navy, 1990s
Lt. Melanie Knight, a Navy diver with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 3, signals as she surfaces following a practice dive, Naval Air Station, San Diego, Calif., May 1993.

Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew C. Heuer, USN


Military Policewoman
U.S. Army, 1970s
An Army military policewoman directs a convoy of armored vehicles, December 1978.


USA photo


Col. Eileen Collins
U.S. Air Force and NASA Astronaut, 1990
Col. Eileen became a NASA astronaut in July,1991 and is a veteran of 4 space flights, logging over 872 hours in space. In 1995, she became the first woman pilot of a space shuttle on STS-63 Discovery and in 1999, she became the first woman to command a shuttle mission on STS-93 Columbia.
USN photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Trevor Welsh


Molly Pitcher
American Revolution
Currier & Ives lithograph, ‘The Women of ’76: “Molly Pitcher” The Heroine of Monmouth.’ At the battle of Monmouth in 1778, Molly “Pitcher” (so-named because she brought pitchers of water to soldiers on the field) became the second known woman to man a gun when her husband fell in battle. For her heroic role, Gen. Washington awarded her a warrant as a non commissioned officer.Library of Congress (LC-USZC2-3186)


Petty Officer 3rd Class Terry Ann Gregory
U.S. Coast Guard, 1990s
Petty Officer 3rd Class Terry Ann Gregory, U.S. Coast Guard, Miami, Fla., June 1999.


USCG photo


Capt. Bettie Vierra
U.S. Air Force Nurse Corps, Vietnam
Capt. Bettie J. Vierra, Air Force Nurse Corps, tends to a Vietnamese child during MEDCAP (Medical Civic Action Program), Vietnam, 1970 or 1971.

Women’s Memorial Foundation Collection


Pfc. Edith Macias
U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (F), World War I
Pfc. Edith Macias, Marine Reservist (F), Washington, D.C., World War I.


National Archives (165-WW-598-A-10)


Pilot Twila Edwards
Women Airforce Service Pilots, World War II
WASP Pilot Twila Edwards confers with another WASP test pilot, California, April 1944.


Women’s Memorial Foundation Collection


Privates Naomi Proffitt, Bette Wimer, Betty West and Reba Fitzgerald
Women Marines, World War II
Privates Naomi Proffitt, Bette Wimer, Betty West, and Reba Fitzgerald learn to disassemble aircraft engines for major overhauling, Assembly and Repair School, Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, N.C. 1943.

USMC photo, Women’s Memorial Foundation Collection


Lt. j.g. Beverly Kelley
U.S. Coast Guard, 1970s
Lt. j.g. Beverly Kelley was the first woman to command a U.S. military vessel—the 95-foot Coast Guard Cutter Cape Newagen, 1979.

USCG photo


Master Gunnery Sgt. Pamela Smith
U.S. Marine Corps, 2000s
Master Gunnery Sgt. Pamela Smith,who has worked Marine Corps motor transport for 31 years and is the first woman master gunnery sergeant in the motor transport maintenance field,climbs up to inspect a Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement engine,Marine Corps Base,Camp Lejeune,N.C.,March 17,2008
USMC photo by Lance Cpl. Meg Varvil


Airman Maudell Thompson
U.S. Air Force, 1980s
Airman Maudell P. Thompson, Titan missile facilities technician, 533rd Strategic Missile Squadron, McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., March 1981.

USAF photo


Airman Ana Tavira
U.S. Navy, Operation Iraqi Freedom
Navy Airman Ana Tavira crosses the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz after taking the tie down chains off of an aircraft, the Arabian Gulf, Operation Iraqi Freedom, April 17, 2003.

USN photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Yesenia Rosas.


“Hello Girls”
U.S. Army Signal Corps, World War I
U.S. Army Signal Corps telephone operators or “Hello Girls,” Tours, France, World War I.


USN photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Yesenia Rosas.


Women Recruits
U.S. Navy, 1950s
Recruit Training (W) Platoon 1, US Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Ill., Oct. 12, 1950.


Women’s Memorial Foundation Collection.


Airman Vanessa Dobos
U.S. Air Force, 2000s
Airman Vanessa Dobos, the first female aerial gunner in the Air Force and assigned to the 58th Training Squadron, looks out the crew door of an Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter equipped with a 7.62mm M134 Minigun machine gun, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
Photo by Dennis Carlson>


Ensign Jane Kendeigh
U.S. Navy Nurse Corps, World War II
Ensign Jane Kendeigh, the first Navy Nurse Corps flight nurse to reach Iwo Jima, ministers to serious casualties awaiting evacuation on the airstrip, March 1945.

Naval History and Heritage Command (NH 95014).


Enlisted Sailors
U.S. Navy, 1990s
Enlisted Navy sailors raise the American flag, early 1990s.


USN photo


Maj. Charity E. Adams
Women’s Army Corps, World War II
Somewhere in England, Maj. Charity E. Adams, Women’s Army Corps (WAC), inspects the first contingent of African-American WACs assigned to overseas service, Feb. 15, 1945.

ational Archives (111-SC-200791)


Gunnery Sgt. Heidi Schuerger
U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Operation Iraqi Freedom
Gunnery Sgt. Heidi Schuerger, Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, 4th Civil Affairs Group, Iraq/Iran border crossing, near Badrah, Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom, August 2003.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew Williams, USMC


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