News Topic



Military, Women, Gender, & Sexuality


United States

The AHA endorsed a letter from 55 professional historians asking members of Congress to co-sponsor S.815 and H.R. 1572, bills that would award the Congressional Gold Medal to the US Army’s first uniformed female combatants—the switchboard operators who connected calls between the front lines and Army command during World War I. “When survivors sailed home in 1919, the Army informed them that their dog-tags and dedicated service did not entitle them to the same Victory Medals, cash bonuses, or hospitalization for disability granted other soldiers,” the letter states. “A group of descendants and the World War One Centennial Commission have spearheaded an effort to obtain the Congressional Gold Medal on their behalf. Doing so would not only honor these pioneers, but every woman in uniform since.”