Women Veterans in History
Women Vets on Point continues the celebration and education of Women’s History Month by sharing the story of women veterans. On this page we highlight women veterans in history that have made an impact and paved the way for future opportunities.
Encourage the women heroes in your personal life by thanking them, listening to their stories and sharing their accomplishments. Small actions create major changes and spread support to other people in your life.
Loretta Walsh was the first American active-duty Navy woman. She was the first to enlist in the U.S. Navy on March 19th, 1917 and the first woman allowed to serve as a U.S. armed force as anything other than a nurse.
The first women to serve in the U.S. Air Force was Esther McGowin. Both of her sons served in the military before she was able to join. She served for 10 years, joining in 1944 within the first hour after the announcement that women would be allowed to serve. She left the service in 1954.
Opha Johnson was the first known woman to enlist in United States Marine Corps. She served from 1918-1919 and joined after the need for more soldiers was announced. Opha was first at the door in Washington D.C. when the recruiting station opened.
Ann E. Dunwoody
Ann was the first woman in the military and uniformed service to achieve a four-star rank. Serving from 1975 to 2012 she continued serving after her first commission ended. In November 14, 2008 she was the first female veteran to be promoted to four-star general.
Della H. Raney
Della was the first African American accepted into the Army Nurse Corps and was the first black woman to reach captain and major in the Army. She joined in 1941 and was transferred and promoted to captain in March 1946.