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Loretta Perfectus Walsh (22 Apr 1896 - 6 Aug 1925) became the first American active-duty Navy woman, and the first woman allowed to serve as a woman, in any of the U.S. armed forces other than as a nurse, when she enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserves in 1917. 12 days later, WWI was declared. She became the first woman Navy Petty Officer, Chief Yeoman, and was the first of 13,000 yeoman females entitled to receive the same military pay and benefits.

Honor Our American Troops: Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Reserves, National Guard and all Veterans

Lt. Kara Hultgreen, the Navy's first fully qualified female fleet fighter pilot, was only 29 when her Tomcat slammed into the Pacific Ocean in 1994 - sadly making her the first woman combat pilot to die in service. Although 31 male pilots have died in Tomcat accidents much ado was made over Lt Hultgreen's accident. From

July 1943: Minnie Spotted Wolf became the first Native American woman to enlist in the United States Marine Corps Women’s Reserve (US National Archives)

U.S. soldiers honored in photo exhibit showing at Gerald R. Ford Museum

Gulf War: A Florida reservist says an emotional goodbye to his family before being deployed. The photo is part of "The American Soldier — A Photographic Tribute to Soldiers and Marines" exhibit at the Gerald R. Ford Museum