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Iconic Moments When Women Changed Military History

We’re revisiting iconic moments in history when women changed the culture of the United States military.

Although women have been actively involved in the military since 1775, their roles were limited to fields like nursing, cooking and sewing. Some women were involved in combat as far back as the Revolutionary War, although they enlisted under male aliases to protect their female identity.

From the iconic moment (featured in the clip above) when Captain Linda Bray became the first woman to lead men into combat, to the first woman to ever enlist, here are just a few historic highlights from women making strides in the military.

• In 1917, Loretta Walsh becomes the first woman to enlist in the military. She was the first American active-duty Navy woman.

• In 1918, Opha M. Johnson enlisted as the first woman in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

• In 1976, the first group of women was admitted into U.S. military academies. 

• In 1995, Air Force Academy graduate Lieutenant Kelly Flinn became the first woman B-52 Bomber Pilot.

• Most recently, in May 2015, Lieutenant Colonel Christine Mau became the first female F-35 fighter jet pilot.

And did you know: the first, and only, woman to receive the distinguished Medal of Honor was Dr. Mary E. Walker, a contract surgeon during the Civil War? 

In case you needed another reason to celebrate women making iconic firsts in military history, be sure to watch the video below of MAKER Colonel (R) Jill W. Chambers, who is widely recognized as the first person in the history of the U.S. Military to develop a successful PTSD program for recovering soldiers.


NEXT: MAKERS Documentary: Women in War »

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