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1Women in the military More than a year before the US entered WW II the military realized it needed large numbers of women to handle clerical communications and other support functions The Army and Navy departments hired more than 60000 women between June 30 1940 and 1941 with the federal government as a whole going from 186210 to 266407 women employees in the same period Yet after Pearl Harbor the armed services realized they needed women under military control women they could assign where needed who had made a commitment to stay with the military Yet the military faced a shortage of women due to the strict criteria set and the much needed labor in the defense industries Women in the Army The army was the first service to include women in May 1942 but followed its usual patriarchal pattern by having the women serve with rather than in the Army by making the WAAC Women Army Air Corps an auxiliary organization By November 1942 all military War departments had womens corps and all but the Army gave women full military status The Wacs The Womens Army Corp WAC was an improvement from the former WAAC which faced a unique recruitment problem due to its auxiliary status The Navy Marine Corp and Coast Guard included as part of their reserves with members receiving military ranks and benefits On August 31 1943 all WAACs were dismissed and the service disbanded The following day any WAACs who chose to join were sworn into the newly formed Womens Army Corp WAC with full military status and benefits Despite the change and the Armys strong encouragement to all former WAACs to reenlist in the WAC many women became disappointed with the Armys waste of their ability and chose to be disbarred form the military instead of capitulation Oveta Culp Hobby who had directed the WAAC became director of the WACs with a rank of Colonel
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