Happiness is a Warm Gun

9:15 PM

Is it? Tune in for facts about women in the military: new, old; from in and out of the United States!

  • There has been only one woman recipient of the U.S. Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor. That woman is Mary Edwards Walker, who served as a surgeon during the Civil War and was a prisoner of war to the Confederacy.
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  • Some of the earliest women in the U.S. military disguised themselves as men during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. This practice included the first African-American female enlistee; Cathay Williams went under the name William Cathay during the Civil War.
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  • During WWII, Maj. Charity Adams became the first African-American woman officer. She led an all women, all African-American unit that inspected every piece of mail from the U.S. to Europe. 

  • The first recorded battle with women leading each side was between two of Alexander the Great's wives, fighting for inheritance to the throne after his death.

  • During the Trojan Wars, the Amazons, fierce women archers, assisted the Trojans against the invading Greeks. The Amazons were said to have cut a breast off in order to improve their archery.

  • Vietnamese sisters Trung Tac and Trung Nhi raised an army of 80,000 in an (unsuccessful) revolt against the two-century Chinese rule in A.D. 40. 
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  • Women were not permitted to attend military academies, such as West Point, until 1976. Now, most military academies count with women as 20% of their student body.

  • During the rule of the Shang Dynasty in China, Fu Hao became the earliest known military general. Her burial tomb is that of a high-ranking official, housing hundreds of weapons, gold, and 14 slaves to assist her in the afterlife.

  • Up until January of 2013, there was a ban on women in the U.S military from holding direct combat positions.

  • Rani Velu Nachiyar of India raised and fought in an army to defend her kingdom against British colonialism, defeating them in 1780. She was known to use "human bombs"; fighters would cover themselves in oil, light themselves on fire, and get launched to the opposing side to explode. 

  • Similarly, the Peruvian Micaela Bastidas Puyucahuas defended the Quechua people from the Spanish in 18th century, being the "logistics officer" of her army, along with her husband. She set up strategies, mobilized armies, recruited, and directly attacked Spanish dwellings.

  • 1 in every 3 Veteran Affairs clinic doesn't have an OB/GYN. 

  • Over 400,00 women worldwide fought in WWII in America, Europe, and Asia as ambulance drivers, nurses, administrators, and more.

  • Joan of Arc, after getting visions from archangel Michael, begged the King of France to have her assistance during the Hundred Years' War. She eventually drove the English out of her country by using ingenious military strategies at age 17. She was then burnt at the stake by the English for cross-dressing and heresy.

  • Grace O' Malley was an Irish pirate Queen who met with Queen Elizabeth I for an alliance against British enemies.

  • 1 in 5 U.S. women veterans are victims of Military Sexual Trauma, with over 80% being exposed to it- that is higher than the general population's 60%
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  • During the Mexican Revolution women in the military, or soldaderas, were known to mostly perform domestic or medical tasks. However, numerous women served as colonels and combatants. Maria Quinteras de Maras served in revolutionary leader's Pancho Villa's army, ranking higher than her own husband.

  • The brave and beautiful soldaderas became subject of one of Mexico's most iconic ballads, "La Adelita"

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