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In the United States, women have participated in every military conflict since the colonial period. However, women did not become part of the armed forces until the 20th century. Instead, women’s war service consisted primarily of traveling with militaries to support husbands or male family members in service, volunteering with civilian organizations, or performing nursing care services. Beginning in 1901, the United States began to allow women to serve in more formal roles, beginning with the formation of nursing corps and eventually with the full admission of women to the armed forces on a permanent basis in 1948. This entry offers a brief history of (a) women’s participation with and in the U.S. military, (b) the transition of women’s service from traditional to nontraditional roles, ...

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