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The Women's Army Corps in Review

May 14, 1942 Congress approves the creation of a Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC). Two days later, Oveta Culp Hobbi is sworn in as the organization's first director.

July 1, 1943 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a law changing the name of the WAAC to the Women's Army Corps (WAC), thereby establishing the Corps as part of the army, with Oveta Culp Hobby as first director.

August 1945 Enlistment of women into the WAC ends and WAC School / Training Center closes.

June 12, 1948 President Truman signs the Women's Armed Services Integration Act, establishing the WAC as a permanent part of the regular Army and Reserve.

September 1954 Fort McClellan, AL is dedicated as the permanent center and home of the Women's Army Corps.

March 1962 The first WAC officer is assigned to Vietnam.

November 8, 1967 Congress removes promotion restrictions, making possible the appointment of women officers in the various services to the Flag General officer rank.

June 11, 1970 While serving as the seventh WAC Director, Elizabeth P Hoisington becomes the first WAC to be promoted to Brigadier General.

August 1972 The Army opens all career fields to WACs, except those demanding combat or hazardous training and duty.

September 1972 Women enter the Senior Reserve Officers' Training Program (ROTC) for the first time.

November 1972 WACs are permitted to transfer for overseas service immediately upon completion of training.

May 1973 A U.S. Supreme Court ruling declares unconstitutional the law that denies married servicewomen family entitlements equal to their male counterparts.

June 1973 The Draft is terminated and an All-Volunteer Army is established. WAC strength grows from some 16,000 officers and enlisted women in 1972 to 56,847 on September 1978.

July 1974 All WAC officers are permanently detailed to all Army branches except those branches associated with combat infantry, armor and field artillery.

June 1975 Involuntary Discharge for pregnancy / parenthood is discontinued for women not in an initial training status.

July 1975 Defensive weapons training becomes mandatory in WAC Basic Training.

January 1976 Women Officers, Warrant Officers, Cadets and Officer Candidate are first required to undergo the same weapons training as men.

April 1976 The Army's minimum age for the enlistment of women is changed from 18 to 17, thereby equalizing the minimum entry age for men and women.

July 1976 The first women cadets enter the U.S. Military Academy. Sixty-two graduate in 1980.

December 31, 1976 WAC Center and WAC School closed as a result of integration of Basic and Officer Training for men and women.

Fall 1977 Women begin to train with men in the same Basic Training Battalions at Fort McClellan, AL; Fort Jackson, SC; Fort Dix, NJ; and Fort Leonard, MD.

Fall 1978 A Congressional Act, signed by President Carter in September 1978, disestablishes the Women's Army Corps, effective October 20, 1978.


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "The Women's Army Corps in Review." (Viewed on January 22, 2018) <>.


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