(Courtesy of History, Art & Archives United States House of Representatives)
(Courtesy of Army Heritage Center Foundation)
The national debate regarding the inclusion of women into the military during World War II in the United States was instrumental in bringing national attention to the concept of a woman's purpose outside of the home, and her ability to serve her country. The original bill that was introduced to Congress in 1941 to organize a women's corp in the Army was challenged by those who believed that women facilitating the military would disrupt the “masculine culture” of the Army and the female-driven home.
Hence, a compromise was proposed involving the establishment of a female auxiliary unit for assisting the Army. After much conflict within Congress that persisted for a year, the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps was founded. It played a pivotal role in challenging traditional gender roles and obtaining larger acceptance from the nation regarding women in the military.
"Our far-flung battlefront is already requiring millions of fighting men. That many of these gallant soldiers will lose their lives is inevitable. Here arises the need for the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps—these women will replace men for the fighting front…. It is said that battles are lost by failing to have enough men and enough weapon power at the right place at the right time…. American women do not intend to let our nation lose." - 1943 WAAC Manual