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Women in the military

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Women in the military

Four American F-15 Eagle pilots from the 3d Wing walk to their jets at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

For over 3,000 years in a large number of cultures and nations, women have played many roles in the military, from ancient warrior women, to the women currently serving in conflicts, although the vast majority of all combatants in every culture have been men.

Even though women serving in the military has often been controversial, a very small number of women in history have fought alongside men. In the American Civil War, there were a few women who cross-dressed as men in order to fight. Fighting on the battlefront in disguise was not the only way women involved themselves in war. Some also served as nurses and aides.

Despite various, though limited, roles in the armies of past societies, the role of women in the military, particularly in combat, is controversial and it is only recently that women have begun to be given a more prominent role in contemporary armed forces. As increasing numbers of countries begin to expand the role of women in their militaries, the debate continues.

More recently, from the beginning of the 1970s, most Western armies have begun to admit women to serve active duty in all of military branches.[1]


  • History 1
    • World War I 1.1
    • World War II 1.2
      • Britain 1.2.1
      • Germany 1.2.2
    • After the world wars 1.3
      • Congo 1.3.1
      • Eritrea 1.3.2
      • Israel 1.3.3
  • Academic studies 2
  • Women in combat 3
    • Policy changes 3.1
    • Social and cultural issues 3.2
      • Sexual assault 3.2.1
    • Women on submarines 3.3
  • See also 4
  • Notes 5
  • Further reading 6
    • Bibliography 6.1
    • History 6.2
      • World War II 6.2.1
    • Recent 6.3
    • Middle East 6.4
    • Various 6.5
      • Websites 6.5.1


World War I

A group of female motor ambulance drivers from the British Voluntary Aid Detachment in France during 1917

Thousands of women served as nurses and in other support roles in the major armies.

The only nation to deploy female combat troops in substantial numbers was Russia. From the outset, female recruits either joined up in disguise or were tacitly accepted by their units. The most prominent were a contingent of front-line light cavalry in a Cossack regiment commanded by a female colonel. Others included the famous Maria Bochkareva, who was decorated three times and promoted to senior NCO rank, while the New York Times reported that a group of twelve schoolgirls from Moscow had joined up together disguised as young men.[2] In 1917, the Provisional Government raised a number of "Women's Battalions", with Bochkareva given an officer's commission to command the first unit. They fought well, but failed to provide the propaganda value expected of them and were disbanded before the end of the year. In the later Russian Civil War, the Bolsheviks employed some women infantry, while female soldiers are also recorded in the White Guard.[3]

World War II

Roza Shanina, a Soviet sniper during World War II, credited with 54 confirmed target hits. About 400,000 Soviet women served in front-line duty units,[4] chiefly as medics and nurses.

All the main nations used women in uniform. The great majority performed nursing, clerical or support roles. Over 500,000 had combat roles in anti-aircraft units in Britain and Germany, and front-line units in Russia.


In 1938, the British took the lead worldwide in establishing uniformed services for women, in addition to the small units of nurses that had long been in operation. In late 1941, Britain began conscripting women, sending most into factory work and some into the military, especially the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), attached to the army. It began as a woman's auxiliary to the military in 1938, and in 1941 was granted military status (with 2/3 pay compared to men). Women had a well-publicized role in handling anti-aircraft guns against German planes and V-1 missiles. The daughter of Prime Minister Winston Churchill was there, and he gushed that any general who saved him 40,000 fighting men had gained the equivalent of a victory. By August, 1941, women were operating the fire-control instruments; they were never allowed to pull the trigger, as killing the enemy was considered to be too masculine.[5] By 1943, 56,000 women were in AA Command, most in units close to London where there was a risk of getting killed, but no risk of getting captured by the enemy.[4][6] The first "kill" came in April 1942.[7]


The Third Reich, contrary to popular belief, had similar roles for women. The SS-Helferinnen were regarded as part of the SS if they had undergone training at a Reichsschule SS but all other female workers were regarded as being contracted to the SS and chosen largely from concentration camps. Women also served in auxiliary units in the navy (Kriegshelferinnen), air force (Luftnachrichtenhelferinnen) and army (Nachrichtenhelferin).[8][9]

In 1944-45 more than 500,000 women were volunteer uniformed auxiliaries in the German armed forces (Wehrmacht). About the same number served in civil aerial defense, 400,000 volunteered as nurses, and many more replaced drafted men in the wartime economy.[9] In the Luftwaffe they served in combat roles helping to operate the anti—aircraft systems that shot down Allied bombers.[10] By 1945, German women were holding 85% of the billets as clericals, accountants, interpreters, laboratory workers, and administrative workers, together with half of the clerical and junior administrative posts in high-level field headquarters.[11]

Germany had a very large and well organized nursing service, with four main organizations, one for Catholics, one for Protestants, the secular DRK (Red Cross) and the "Brown Nurses," for committed Nazi women. Military nursing was primarily handled by the DRK, which came under partial Nazi control. Frontline medical services were provided by male medics and doctors. Red Cross nurses served widely within the military medical services, staffing the hospitals that perforce were close to the front lines and at risk of bombing attacks. Two dozen were awarded the Iron Cross for heroism under fire.[8] The brief historiography focuses on the dilemmas of Brown Nurses forced to look the other way while their incapacitated patients were murdered.[12]

Hundreds of women auxiliaries (Aufseherin) served for the SS in the camps, the majority of which were at Ravensbrück. In Germany women also worked, and were told by Hitler to produce more pure Aryan children to fight in future wars.[13]

After the world wars


A Congolese female para-commando during jump training at capital Leopoldville in 1967

The Democratic Republic of the Congo began training an initial 150 women as para-commandos in 1967 and many more were trained subsequently, over a period of several years at least. The women did receive complete jump training as well as weapons training although it is unclear to what extent they were actually integrated into the combat units of the Congo.


In 1999 the BBC reported that about a quarter of the Eritrean soldiers in the Eritrean–Ethiopian War were women.[14]


A female Israeli soldier of the IDF Search and Rescue Unit

Israel is currently the only country in the world with a mandatory military service requirement for women.[15][16][17] Mandatory conscription for single and married women without children began in 1948.[18]

Initially all women conscripts served in the Women's Army Corps, serving as clerks, drivers, welfare workers, nurses, radio operators, flight controllers, ordnance personnel, and course instructors.[19] Roles for women beyond technical and secretarial support started to open up in the late 1970s and early 1980s.[16]

In 2000, the Equality amendment to the Military Service law granted equal opportunities in the military to women found physically and personally suitable for a job. Women started to enter combat support and light combat roles in a few areas, including the Artillery Corps, infantry units and armored divisions. A few platoons named Carakal were formed for men and women to serve together in light infantry. Many women would also join the Border Police.[16]

Academic studies

A 2008 study by Jennifer M. Silva, a sociologist of culture and inequality (her goal is to investigate the relationship between systems of inequality), found that the female cadets saw military training as an "opportunity to be strong, assertive and skillful" and saw such training "as an escape from some of the negative aspects of traditional femininity". The female cadets also believed that the ROTC program was "gender-blind" and "gender-neutral". The study claims that female cadets "were hyper-vigilant about their status as women performing tasks traditionally seen as men's work and often felt that they had to constantly prove they were capable".

Silva's study found gender playing a role in how cadets perceive leadership, quoting one female cadet: "in the Navy the joke is that a woman in the Navy is either a bitch, a slut or a lesbian, and none of them are good categories to fall into, and if you are stern with your people then you are a bitch, but if you're a guy and stern people are like, wow, I respect him for being a good leader".

Of the female cadets Silva interviewed, 84 percent said they did not want a military career as it would interfere with being able to get married and have children.[20]

Women in combat

Marie Marvingt was the first female pilot to fly during a conflict, 1915

Some nations allow female soldiers to serve in certain combat arms positions. Others exclude them for various reasons including physical demands and privacy policies.

See also: Women in the United States Air Force, Women in the United States Army, Women in the United States Coast Guard, Women in the United States Marines, and Women in the United States Navy

The United States military has most of their positions open to women.[21] There are some restrictions because of physical demands that women cannot meet such as special forces positions.

Women have been involved in the U.S. military since 1775, but more in the civilian fields of nursing, laundering and mending clothing, and cooking. Several hundred women enlisted and fought in the US Civil War, nearly all of them disguised as men, many discovered on the battlefield and in hospitals after becoming wounded.[22] In 1917 Loretta Walsh became the first woman to enlist. But it was not until 1948 that a law was finally passed that made women a permanent part of the military services. In 1976, the first group of women was admitted into a U.S. military academy.[23] Currently, approximately 16% of the graduating West Point class consists of women.[24] According to statistics only 15.6 percent of the U.S. Army's 1.1 million soldiers are female. Women serve in 95 percent of all army occupations.[25] In a one-year span, some 40,000 American military women were deployed during the Gulf War operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. But not one woman was able to take on any form of combat. In 1994 a policy prohibits women from being assigned to ground combat units below the brigade level.[26] A study conducted by Matthews et al. 2009 to examine the attitudes of West Point cadets, Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets, and non-military-affiliated students from civilian colleges toward a variety of roles that women may serve in the military. The results showed that military cadets were less approving of women being assigned to certain military jobs than non-military students.[27]

Policy changes

Almost twenty years later, in 2013, an order was issued to end the policy of "no women in units that are tasked with direct combat". On January 24, 2014, the US Army announced that 33,000 positions that were previously closed to women would integrate in the upcoming month of April,[28] though it still has yet to be determined if and when women may join the US Army's Special Operations community.[28] Prior to the 1994 Department of Defense assignment rule, 67 percent of the positions in the Army were open to women. Today, 78 percent of the positions in the Army are open to women, and women serve in 95 percent of all Army occupations (active duty and the reserve components), as of 2014.[29] In the U.S. Air Force, 99% of career fields are open to women, the only ones prohibited to women are Special Tactics Officer, Combat Control, Special Operations Weather Technician, Combat Rescue Officer, Pararescue and Tactical Air Control Party.[30]

Female U.S Army soldiers are being asked to take part in a new training course designed by Combined Joint Task Force Paladin, which is specifically designed for Female Engagement Team members. The course will help female soldiers train for tasks such as unexploded ordnance awareness, biometrics, forensics, evidence collection, tactical questioning, vehicle and personnel searches, instructions on how homemade explosive devices are made and how to recognize if a device is homemade.[31] This change will open up hundreds of thousands of front-line positions for women. The goal is for all assessments to be complete and have women fully integrated into all roles in the army by 2016.[32] By May 2015, all nineteen women vying to become the first female Army Rangers had failed their training at Ranger School. Eleven of the nineteen dropped out in the first four days of training. Of the remaining eight who failed in the next step, three were given the option to enroll in the course again.[33] Two of the original 19 women graduated in August 2015.[34] A third graduated in October 2015.[35]

The integration of females in the Marine Corps infantry would be detrimental to performance, injury rates, and mission readiness. There have been several studies researched by the Marine Corps that have shown that female integrated units did not perform as well as males. In addition, the studies have shown that females are twice as likely as males to be injured. Also, with a decrease in performance comes longer training times. Further, longer training times and more injuries will diminish mission readiness.

Social and cultural issues

Two members of a US Marine Corps Female Engagement Team patrolling a town in Afghanistan during 2010

Some people think having women in a combat unit would hurt unit cohesion. There are worries about romantic or sexual relationships developing, potentially inappropriate fraternization, or that a woman might get pregnant. Some people are not willing to accept the risk of women being captured and tortured and possibly sexually assaulted, which happened to then-Major Rhonda Cornum.[36] Some argue that there is a shortage of male combat soldiers and that women should not be treated as second-class citizens in the military.[37]

According to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, author of On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, Israeli soldiers reacted with uncontrollable protectiveness and aggression after seeing a woman wounded. Grossman also notes that Islamic militants rarely, if ever, surrender to female soldiers, lessening the IDF's ability to interrogate prisoners. On the other hand, Iraqi and Afghan civilians are often not intimidated by female soldiers. However, in such environments, having female soldiers serving in a combat unit does have the advantage of allowing for searches on female civilians. Children and women are more likely to talk to female soldiers than to male soldiers.[38]

Sexual assault

Some reports show that a woman in the military is three times more likely than a woman in the general population to be raped,[39] and in Iraq are more likely to be attacked by one of their own than an insurgent.[40] There is currently a lawsuit in the US military in which the plaintiffs claim to have been subjected to sexual assaults in the military.[41] A documentary called The Invisible War has been made on this lawsuit and topic.[42]

Women on submarines

A female Royal Australian Navy submariner aboard HMAS Waller in 2013

In 1985 the Royal Norwegian Navy became the first [43][44] navy in the world to permit female personnel to serve in submarines, followed by the appointment of a female submarine captain in 1995.[45] The Danish Navy allowed women on submarines in 1988, the Swedish Navy in 1989,[44] followed by the Royal Australian Navy in 1998 Canada in 2000, and Spain;[46] all operators of conventional submarines.

Social obstacles include the need to segregate accommodation and facilities, with the U.S. Navy estimating that modifying its submarines to accommodate women would cost $300,000 per bunk versus $4,000 per bunk to allow women to serve on aircraft carriers.[47] However, some countries have women serving on small diesel-electric submarines where they sometimes hot bunk with men.

Recent U.S. Navy policy allowed three exceptions for women being on board military submarines: (1) female civilian technicians for a few days at most, (2) women midshipmen on an overnight during summer training for both Navy ROTC and Naval Academy, and(3) family members for one-day dependent cruises.[48]

In October 2009 the U.S. secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, announced that he and the chief of naval operations were moving aggressively to change the policy.[49] Reasons included the fact that larger SSGN and SSBN submarines now in the fleet had more available space and could accommodate female officers with little or no modification. Also, the availability of qualified female candidates with the desire to serve in this capacity was cited. It was noted that women now represented 15 percent of the active duty Navy [49] and that women today earn about half of all science and engineering bachelor's degrees. A policy change was deemed to serve the aspirations of women, the mission of the Navy, and the strength of its submarine force.[49][50]

In February 2010 the secretary of defense approved the proposed policy and signed letters formally notifying Congress of the intended change. After receiving no objection, the Department of the Navy officially announced on April 29, 2010, that it had authorized women to serve aboard submarines.[51]

The first group of U.S. female submariners completed nuclear power school and officially reported on board two ballistic and two guided missile submarines in November 2011.[52]

In 2012 it was announced that 2013 will be the first year women will serve on U.S. attack submarines.[53] On June 22, 2012, a sailor assigned to USS Ohio (SSGN 726) became the first female supply officer to qualify in U.S. submarines.[54] In 2015 the U.S. Submarine Force will begin accepting applications for the Enlisted Women in Submarines (EWIS) Initiative. This is a detailed process that will systematically place enlisted female Sailors on OHIO Class submarines. Female Sailors from all communities and ratings will be afforded the opportunity to be among the first to join the U.S. Naval Submarine Service.[55]

In May 2014 it was announced that three women had become the Royal Navy's first female submariners.[56]

See also


  1. ^ Carreiras, Helena (2006). Gender and the military: women in the armed forces of western democracies. New York: Routledge. p. 1.  
  2. ^ Susan R. Sowers, Women Combatants in World War I: A Russian Case Study" (Strategy Research Project, U.S. Army War College, 2003) PDF
  3. ^ Reese, Roger R. (2000). The Soviet military experience: a history of the Soviet Army, 1917–1991.  
  4. ^ a b Campbell, D'Ann (1993). "Women in Combat: The World War Two Experience in the United States, Great Britain, Germany, and the Soviet Union".  
  5. ^ DeGroot, G. J. (1997). "Whose Finger on the Trigger? Mixed Anti-Aircraft Batteries and the Female Combat Taboo". War in History 4 (4): 434–453.  
  6. ^ Schwarzkopf, 2009
  7. ^ Sir Frederick Arthur Pile (bart.) (1949). Ack-ack: Britain's defence against air attack during the Second World War. Harrap. p. 193. 
  8. ^ a b Gordon Williamson, World War II German Women's Auxiliary Services (2003).
  9. ^ a b Karen Hagemann, "Mobilizing Women for War: The History, Historiography, and Memory of German Women's War Service in the Two World Wars," Journal of Military History (2011) 75#4 pp 1055-1094
  10. ^ Campbell, D'Ann (April 1993). "Women in Combat: The World War Two Experience in the United States, Great Britain, Germany, and the Soviet Union". Journal of Military History 57 (2): 301–323.  
  11. ^ Campbell, 1993
  12. ^ Bronwyn Rebekah McFarland-Icke, Nurses in Nazi Germany (1999)
  13. ^ Leila J. Rupp, Mobilizing Women For War: German and American Propaganda, 1939-1945 (1979)
  14. ^ A Quarter of Eritrean Soldiers are Women
  15. ^ "Statistics: Women's Service in the IDF for 2010, 25 Aug 2010". Israel Defense Forces. 25 August 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2011. 
  16. ^ a b c Lauren Gelfond Feldinger (September 21, 2008). "Skirting history". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2011-03-22. 
  17. ^ "Integration of women in the IDF". Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 8 March 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  18. ^ "The Beginning, Women in the Early IDF".  
  19. ^ "Israel". Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  20. ^ Jennifer M. Silva (2008). "A New Generation of Women? How Female ROTC Cadets Negotiate the Tension between Masculine Military Culture and Traditional Femininity". Social Forces 87 (2): 937–960.  
  21. ^
  22. ^ Sam Smith, "Female Soldiers in the Civil War on the front line."
  23. ^ "Women in the military". Norfolk Daily News. June 8, 2013. Retrieved October 24, 2013. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Sisters in Arms: Breaking down barriers and rising to the challenge". Retrieved October 24, 2013. 
  26. ^ Fischel, Justin (January 24, 2013). "Military leaders lift ban on women in combat roles". Fox. Retrieved October 24, 2013. 
  27. ^ Matthews, M.D; Edner, Morten, G., Laurence, J.H., Rohall, D.E (2009). "Role of group affiliation and gender attitudes toward women in the military". Military Psychology 21 (2): 241–251.  
  28. ^ a b C. Todd Lopez (January 27, 2014). "Army to open 33,000 positions to female Soldiers in April". Army News Service. Retrieved January 30, 2013. 
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ Drohan, Ed. "CJTF Paladin offers training for female engagement team members". Retrieved October 24, 2013. 
  32. ^ Lawrence, Chris (January 23, 2013). "Military to open combat jobs to women". CNN. Retrieved October 24, 2013. 
  33. ^ Michaels, Jim (May 30, 2015). "Women in Ranger School fail to finish grueling course".  
  34. ^ Jordan, Mary; Lamothe, Dan (August 19, 2015). "How did these two women become the first to complete Army Ranger School?".  
  35. ^ Lamothe, Dan (October 12, 2015). "Army Ranger School has a groundbreaking new graduate: Lisa Jaster, 37, engineer and mother".  
  36. ^ Kristof, Nicholas D. (NY Times) (April 25, 2003). "A Woman's Place". 
  37. ^ Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter: Remarks on Women in Combat
  38. ^ "Coalition for Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans » Blog Archive » FEMALE SOLDIERS SAY THEY’RE UP FOR BATTLE". Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  39. ^ "Americas | Women at war face sexual violence". BBC News. 2009-04-17. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  40. ^ "Rep. Jane Harman: Finally, Some Progress in Combating Rape and Assault in the Military". 2008-09-10. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  41. ^ Lucy Broadbent (December 9, 2011). "Rape in the US military: America's dirty little secret | Society". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  42. ^ "The Invisible War: Home". Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  43. ^ "Royal Navy to allow female sailors on subs". London: Daily Mail. 2010-06-21. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  44. ^ a b "Women, Leadership and the US Military: A Tale of Two Eras". 2010-08-11. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  45. ^
  46. ^ "Women in the military - international". Indepth (CBS News). 30 May 2006. Retrieved 21 December 2011. 
  47. ^ New Debate on Submarine Duty for Women Armed Forces Careers retrieved August 11, 2007
  48. ^ Can women go on submarines? United States Navy retrieved March 27, 2008
  49. ^ a b c Navy Office of Information, "Women on Submarines", Rhumblines, October 5, 2009.
  50. ^ Commander, Submarine Forces Public Affairs. "Navy Policy Will Allow Women To Serve Aboard Submarines". Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  51. ^ Commander, Submarine Group 10 Public Affairs. "Navy Welcomes Women To Serve In Submarines". Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  52. ^ Ensign Amber Lynn Daniel, Diversity and Inclusion Public Affairs. "Navy Celebrates Women's History Month". Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  53. ^ "Women to serve on attack submarines in 2013". 2012-09-04. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  54. ^ Commander, Submarine Group 9 Public Affairs. "First Qualified Female Submarine Supply Officer Receives Supply Dolphins". Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  55. ^
  56. ^ "Royal Navy gets first female submariners".  

Further reading


  • Fasting, Kari and Trond Svela Sand eds., (2010). "Gender and Military Issues - A Categorized Research Bibliography." Moving Soldiers - Soldaten i bevegelse 01/2010. ISSN 1891-8751. [3]
  • Sand, Trond Svela and Kari Fasting eds., (2012), "Gender and Military Issues in the Scandinavian Countries - A Categorized Research Bibliography." Moving Soldiers - Soldaten i bevegelse 01/2012. ISSN 1891-8751. [4]
  • Brownson, Connie (2014). "Rejecting Patriarchy for Equivalence in the US Military A Response to Anthony King’s “Women Warriors: Female Accession to Ground Combat" Armed Forces & Society 40 (4) pp 765–788.


  • Cook, Bernard, ed, (2006). Women and War: Historical Encyclopedia from Antiquity to the Present.
  • Elshtain, Jean Bethke. Women and War (1995)
  • Elshtain Jean, and Sheila Tobias, eds., Women, Militarism, and War (1990),
  • Goldman, Nancy Loring ed. (1982). Female Soldiers--Combatants or Noncombatants? Historical and Contemporary Perspectives.
  • Goldstein, Joshua S. . War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa (2003), psychology perspective
  • Hacker, Barton C. and Margaret Vining, eds. A Companion to Women's Military History (2012) 625pp; articles by scholars covering a very wide range of topics
  • Hall, Richard H. Women on the Civil War battlefront (University Press of Kansas 2006).
  • Jones, David. Women Warriors: A History, Brassey's, 1997
  • Pennington, Reina, (2003). Amazons to Fighter Pilots: A Biographical Dictionary of Military Women.
  • Salmonson, Jessica Amanda (1991). The Encyclopedia of Amazons: Women Warriors from Antiquity to the Modern Era. Paragon House.  

World War II

  • Biddiscombe, Perry, (2011). "Into the Maelstrom: German Women in Combat, 1944-45," War & Society (2011), 30#1 pp 61–89
  • Bidwell, Shelford. The Women's Royal Army Corps (London, 1977) on Britain
  • Campbell, D'Ann. Women at War with America: Private Lives in a Patriotic Era (Harvard University Press, 1984). on WW2
  • Campbell, D'Ann. "Servicewomen of World War II", Armed Forces and Society (Win 1990) 16: 251-270. statistical study based on interviews
  • Campbell, D'Ann. "Women in Combat: The World War Two Experience in the United States, Great Britain, Germany, and the Soviet Union" Journal of Military History (April 1993), 57:301-323. online edition in JSTOR
  • Cottam, K. Jean Soviet Airwomen in Combat in World War II (Manhattan, KS: Military Affairs/Aerospace Historian Publishing, 1983)
  • DeGroot G.J. "Whose Finger on the Trigger? Mixed Anti-Aircraft Batteries and the Female Combat Taboo," War in History, Volume 4, Number 4, December 1997, pp. 434–453
  • Dombrowski, Nicole Ann. Women and War in the Twentieth Century: Enlisted With or Without Consent (1999)
  • Dominé, Jean-François, (2008). Les femmes au combat ; l'arme féminine de la France pendant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale
  • Hagemann, Karen, (2011). "Mobilizing Women for War: The History, Historiography, and Memory of German Women's War Service in the Two World Wars," Journal of Military History 75:3 (2011): 1055-1093
  • Harfield, Alan, (2005). "The Women's Auxiliary Corps (India)", Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research 83, no 335, 243-254.
  • Krylova, Anna, (2010). Soviet Women in Combat: A History of Violence on the Eastern Front.
  • Morton, Alison. Military or civilians? The curious anomaly of the German Women's Auxiliary Services during the Second World War. 2012. ASIN B007JUR408
  • Markwick, Roger D. (2008). "A Sacred Duty": Red Army Women Veterans Remembering the Great Fatherland War, 1941-1945," Australian Journal of Politics & History, (2008), 54#3 pp. 403-420.
  • Maubach, Franka; Satjukow, Silke. (2009). "Zwischen Emanzipation und Trauma: Soldatinnen im Zweiten Weltkrieg (Deutschland, Sowjetunion, USA)" Historische Zeitschrift, (April 2009), Vol. 288 Issue 2, pp 347–384
  • Merry, Lois K, (2010). Women Military Pilots of World War II: A History with Biographies of American, British, Russian and German Aviators.
  • Pennington, Reina, (2007). Wings, Women & War: Soviet Airwomen in World War II Combat
  • Pennington, Reina, (2010). "Offensive Women: Women in Combat in the Red Army in the Second World War" Journal of Military History, July 2010, Vol. 74 Issue 3, p775-820
  • Pierson, Ruth Roach. (1986). They're Still Women After All: The Second World War and Canadian Womanhood.
  • McBryde, Brenda. (1985). Quiet Heroines: Story of the Nurses of the Second World War, on British
  • Sarnecky, Mary T. (1999). A History of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps
  • Schwarzkopf, Jutta, (2009). "Combatant or Non-Combatant? The Ambiguous Status of Women in British Anti-Aircraft Batteries during the Second World War." War & Society, 28#2 pp 105–131
  • Toman, Cynthia, (2007). An Officer and a Lady: Canadian Military Nursing and the Second World War.
  • Treadwell, Mattie E. (1954). United States Army in World War II: Special Studies: The Women's Army Corps. the standard history; part of the Army "Green series" online free
  • Williamson, Gordon, (2003). World War II German Women's Auxiliary Services


  • Campbell, D'Ann. (2012) "Almost Integrated? American Servicewomen and Their International Sisters Since World War II" in A Companion to Women's Military History ed by Barton C. Hacker and Margaret Vining pp 291–330
  • Carreiras, Helena and Gerhard Kammel (eds.) Women in the Military and in Armed Conflict (2008) excerpt and text search
  • Frampton, James Scott The Influence of Attitudes and Morale on the Performance of Active-Duty United States Marine Corps Female Security Guards (2011),
  • Goldman, Nancy. "The Changing Role of Women in the Armed Forces." American Journal Of Sociology 1973 78(4): 892-911. Issn: 0002-9602 online in Jstor
  • Herbert, Melissa S. Camouflage Isn't Only for Combat: Gender, Sexuality, and Women in the Military New York U. Pr., 1998.
  • ; women from the United States  
  • Lemmon, Gayle Tzemach. Ashley's War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield HarperCollins, 2015.; women from the United States
  • Skaine, Rosemarie. Women at War: Gender Issues of Americans in Combat. McFarland, 1999.
  • United States Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women. (1993) 'Report on the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women

Middle East

  • Holmstedt, Kirsten. Band of Sisters: American Women at War in Iraq (2007) excerpt and text search
  • Holmstedt, Kirsten. "The Girls Come Marching Home"
  • Wise, James E. and Scott Baron. Women at War: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Conflicts (2006)


  • Archer, Emerald M. 2013. "The Power of Gendered Stereotypes in the US Marine Corps." Armed Forces & Society 39 (2) pp. 359-391.
  • Booth, Bradford. 2003. “Contextual Effects of Military Presence on Women’s Earnings.” Armed Forces & Society 30: pp. 25–51.
  • Cooney et al. 2003. “Racial Differences in the Impact of Military Service on the Socioeconomic Status of Women Veterans.” Armed Forces & Society, vol. 30: pp. 53–85.
  • Dar, Yechezkel & Shaul Kimhi. 2004. “Youth in the Military: Gendered Experiences in the Conscript Service in the Israeli Army.” Armed Forces & Society, vol. 30: pp. 433–459.
  • Iskra, Darlene. 2007. “Attitudes toward Expanding Roles for Navy Women at Sea: Results of a Content Analysis.” Armed Forces & Society 33: pp. 203–223.
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Green Berets
  • on May 31, 2002: 'Long, hard struggle' for green beretBBC News Online retrieved on March 12, 2007
  • Superwoman Pip's green beret test on May 31, 2002: BBC News Online retrieved on March 12, 2007
Joan of Arc
  • Joan of Arc archive retrieved on March 12, 2007
  • Maid of Heaven extensive site about Joan of Arc, retrieved on March 12, 2007
Women Veterans
  • site for Women in the military retrieved on March 12, 2007
  • Women in the Military: A Selected Bibliography, Jacqueline S. Bey, 2005, retrieved on March 12, 2007
  • Iraqi Bloggers Central: Oldest American Servicewoman Killed In Combat retrieved on March 12, 2007
  • MilitaryWoman retrieved on March 12, 2007
  • retrieved on March 12, 2007
  • retrieved on March 12, 2007
  • The History of a Hello Girl retrieved on July 17, 2007
  • When Janey Comes Marching Home Multi-Media project on women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan in the Virginia Quarterly Review
  • Enlisted Women in Submarines (EWIS) U.S. Navy
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