Profile America — Monday, May 14th. Women in military uniform serving in dangerous areas of the world are no longer a cause for surprise. It all started this week in 1942, when an act of Congress made it possible for women to enlist for noncombat duties in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. Its members were called "WACS." At the time, only single women could join and they were prohibited from either smoking while walking or chewing gum in public. By 1978, women were integrated into the regular Army. Today, they account for almost 39,000 officer and nearly 167,000 enlisted personnel on active duty in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at www.census.gov.
Sources: Chase's Calendar of Events 2012, p. 266 Statistical Abstract of the United States 2012, t. 510
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