Military which for long has evolved to assume its role as the defense arm of nations all over the world has had its dark times. In the modern world, it is acceptable to see women in armed forces attires and appreciate them for whom they are. There was a time when the military jobs were known to be the preserves of men only. This stereotype of the weakness perceived to concern women competitively eliminated them from assuming the defense roles of any country. In the United States, various women seem to have laid the foundation for the world career in the military for the rest of the women. This paper will focus on vividly bringing out the roles played by some of the first ever heroines in the military and war zones.
Today, a huge percentage of the total military population consists of women (Condon, 1994). Many of them may not realize how hard it would have been for them to enlist in the military had they been born over a century ago. The credit for the current enrolment of women in the military can be attributed to Margaret Corbin, Deborah Samson, Mary Ludwig, and Elizabeth Newcume (Silvey, 2008). These were the first women to participate in the police force and armed forces in the United States in the late 19th century and early 20th century (Collins, 2003). Some of these heroines fought in Washington and Mexican wars while others were involved in normal revolutionary roles within the forces or engaged in activities akin to the military roles. Elizabeth Newcume is the most controversial amongst them all for attempting to fight disguising herself as a male soldier. She had spent most of her time in the war zones especially in Dodge City. She was able to keep the spirit like a man until the tenth month of the activity when she was discovered and discharged from the military. Although these women seemed to be working against the societal norms and gender roles of the day, they should be congratulated for setting precedence for today’s role of women in the military (Collins, 2003). Elizabeth’s act of courage, although opposed by constitution of the day, never went unnoticed since she was awarded 160 acres of land coupled with an extra three months payment of her salary.
Among these women, there are other famous groups of military women who were honored in various platforms. These famous heroines in the military include the first ones who received medals. Mary Walker was the first to receive the Medal of Honor while first Lieutenant Cordelia Cook was the first woman to receive the Bronze Star. Among the famous women in this list there is Lieutenant Elsie Ott, a candidate for Air Medal and Lieutenant Olive Barnwell, who received the Soldiers Medal. Today, some women have assumed leadership roles in the military (Litoff & Smith 1994). This has gone a long way to support the success of women in any field that men can excel. Many leadership roles requiring apt decisions are seen to be well managed by women. In the war fields of Iraq and Afghanistan, the troops have had a considerable number of women soldiers who are proud to be in the military. They should not forget to acknowledge the first people to pave way for women’s role in the military.
In conclusion, this paper was seeking to establish some famous women in the military. It has provided the first ever women who set the standards and cleared the ground for the current women in the battlefields. People might tend to forget these women or even judge them negatively for the outrageous stand they took during their time, but their efforts can be seen to have borne fruits currently being enjoyed in the whole world.