Today approximately 20 percent of all new military recruits are female and 11 percent of the U.S. forces deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan have been women. (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America)
Why do women choose military service? Here’s what Army First Lieutenant Jessica Scott, contributor to the PBS “Regarding War” blog, says:
” There are a number of things that the military offers that makes joining and staying in the military attractive for women and men alike. According to the Defense Department Advisory Committee on Women in the Services’s Annual Report for 2008, the number one reason women stayed in the military was their sense of job satisfaction and job performance. Other reasons for women to stay in the military included access to health care, education opportunities, a sense of purpose and being part of a team. “
To read her full article click here.
Joining the service in the ’40s was a different story. Taking the same jobs in the Navy as men had never happened before, the WAVES were breaking out of traditional roles and looking for a way to get involved in the war effort.
Pearl Harbor was a milestone for many WAVES in their decision to join. Read more about women’s roles in society and the military before WWII on the Homefront Heroines site exhibit “Before the Waves.”