May 27, 2021

Duckworth, Moran and Clark Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Honoring Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) today introduced a resolution to honor the service of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) on the 80th anniversary of Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers’ push to create the WAAC. Introduced in May 1941 by Congresswoman Rogers, the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Act authorized a voluntary enrollment program for women to join the U.S. Army, which led to women serving their country in all branches of the Armed Forces during World War II. Companion legislation to honor this anniversary was introduced today in the House by Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-MA-05).

“When our nation has asked ‘who among you will serve,’ women have consistently volunteered,” said Duckworth. “Even before Congress allowed us to join the military, brave women left their homes and disguised themselves as men to defend our Constitution. The leadership of Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers in 1941 paved the way for millions of women like myself to serve our country in uniform over the past 80 years. I’m proud to introduce this resolution today honoring the legacy of our Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps and Congresswoman Rogers’ role in providing women a path to serve our nation in the Armed Forces.”

“Establishing the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps brought a new wave of women into military service to help protect our country during World War II,” said Moran. “This served as an important step toward affirming their official status as military personnel. May 28th marks the 80th anniversary of the introduction of the legislation to establish the corps, and I am pleased to recognize their service to our nation with this resolution.”

“Edith Nourse Rogers was the first woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts,” said Clark. “In 1942, she established the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps to ensure that women were able to fight for our country during World War II and be recognized for their service. My grandmother contributed to the war effort as a factory worker, and she often remarked how profound this experience was for her. Whether women served as switchboard operators, mechanics, or pilots, they were critical to the war effort and changed the way women were viewed in society. In 1943, the Army rightfully removed the auxiliary status of the WAAC units, giving women all of the rank, privileges, and benefits of male soldiers. Today, we honor these women – and thank Congresswoman Rogers – by reaffirming the bravery of all our female service members and their importance to our nation’s safety.” 

The WAAC Act authorized a voluntary enrollment program for up to 150,000 women to join the U.S. Army, clearing the way for women to serve in a variety of jobs to include medical care professionals, welfare workers, clerical workers, cooks, messengers, military postal employees, chauffeurs and telephone and telegraph operators.

Along with Senators Duckworth and Moran, this legislation is co-sponsored U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI).

Senator Duckworth is a former Army Black Hawk pilot who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years.