Fort Hood, Texas

...The Great Place

   

Women Given the Opportunity to Contribute to War Effort

Women in the Army

By Pvt. 2 Stephanie Carpenter, III Corps PAO

In 1942, as Camp Hood was making its Army debut, the pioneers of the newly approved Womens Army Auxiliary Corps began their training.

The WAAC, which allowed over 150,000 women to serve during World War II, trained its members in non-combatant jobs.

Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson appointed Oveta Culp Hobby director of the WAAC.

Hobby was born and raised in Killeen. She attended Baylor College and served as Editor of the Huston Post for ten years. She married William P. Hobby, the Governor of the state of Texas, but not before holding a political position of her own. She spent five years as a parliamentarian of the Texas legislature.

It was her experiences that got her chosen for the position.

She was the first woman sworn into the Corps.

The women that followed her were trained and sent to fill positions that could release a man for combat. Common jobs were file clerk, typist, and stenographers, but some women could operate radios, repair equipment or load shells.

In 1943 Congress opened hearings on allowing the WAAC to be part of the Army instead of serving it. The law took effect four months after the hearings opened and the WAAC became the Womens Army Corps.

The Women continued to serve in all theaters until the end of the war. The corps was made a permanent part of the Army in 1948 as a separate corps.

It remained for 30 years until it was abolished and women were fully integrated into the Army.

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