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The history of women in the military in the United States can be outlined with dates and changes in federal law. There is also a somewhat vague, yet interesting, subtext to this subject. Women have served near, around, and even in the military since the Revolutionary War and founding of this country. But women did not serve “officially” as a recognized part of the military until the formation of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in 1901. Despite this, women did not receive the status, rank, or recognition of the men who served—that would come piecemeal over the next few decades.

Before the 20th Century

From the first landing of Europeans on the continent of North America, women settlers defended their homes and families. Governed by the world ...

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