'Women in the Military' on Edinboro University Campus

Category:  News
Thursday, March 31st, 2016 at 10:31 AM
'Women in the Military' on Edinboro University Campus by Cheyenne Majeed
Women in the military have been in the public eye over the course of history. During the Revolutionary War, women began to join the army as nurses to help wounded soldiers.

On Wednesday, March 23, the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and Veterans Success Center gave a joint presentation concerning women in the military.

Originally, Andrew Matt, veteran success coordinator, was set to present the event but unfortunately could not do so. As a result, Robert Cooksey, assistant professor of military science took over in his absence.

“My project [for one of her current classes] is on the development of women so it really helped me. It was very informative,” Lauren Pierce, a political science and international affairs major, said.

Cooksey began by talking about the major roles women had in wars as far back as the American Revolution. Primarily, they served in service support roles — nurses, seamstresses and cooks. This was only the beginning, though.

Several women worked as spies for the continental army and others fought directly in the Revolutionary War. Over 400 women disguised themselves and enlisted in the union or confederate armies.

Despite the continuation of moving to different positions in war, nurses provided one of the major service routes for women in the union. Over 6,000 women served as nurses for federal troops — 181 of those were African-American women.

Women serving as nurses were a role of tradition, but military doctrine looked to utilize women in more roles so as “to free a man to fight.” Over the course of history, 14,000 women served in the U.S. army.

A group created during World War II, on May 15, 1942 was the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAC). Basically, it was the women’s branch to the army force. It was created by public law and was fully known as the WAC as of July 1, 1943.

“You have so many accomplished females out of Edinboro,” Lieutenant Colonel Marc Beckage, head of ROTC department said.

Cheyenne Majeed is a Staff Writer for The Spectator.

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