On 15 May, 1942, the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps was created in the United States Army. Initially the WAAC was open to just 10,000 women to serve in jobs to free up men for combat duty. Eventually over 150,000 women would serves as “WAACs” or “WACs” for Women’s Army Corps as it was known in 1943. They were the first women to serve in jobs other than nursing in the US Army. The program was so successful it eventually spread to the other services: the Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), the Coast Guard SPARS (Semper Paratus, Always Ready), the Air Corps civil WASPS (Women’s Air Service Pilots) and the Marine Women’s Reserve. Gen MacArthur called the WACs “my best soldiers”, adding that they worked harder, complained less, and were better disciplined than the men.

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