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Women's Museum of California

Preserving the Past, Inspiring the Future

Arc of Service – The Continuing Journey of Women in the US Military

Arc of Service – The Continuing Journey of Women in the US Military


Event Date:
Sunday, August 06 2017

What is the event about?


This presentation is an overview of how U.S. women have officially served in the military from 1901 (when we were first allowed) to the present.  After a brief summary of women’s unofficial service prior to then, Rear Admiral Sandy Adams highlights how military women contributed during World War I, World War II, Korea, Viet Nam, Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  It is an amazing story punctuated by how their service and the nation’s needs led to changes in laws and regulations over time.  Since 1901 when only 100 women were allowed to serve as Army nurses, this story describes how we got to 2015 when all of our military roles became open to both men and women.  Instead of roles being restricted purely due to gender, now roles are filled based on qualifications.  This story will inspire and educate anyone, both men, and women who hear it.

Tickets: $10 - General Admission $8 Museum Members and Military

Purchase Tickets Here

Rear Admiral Sandy Adams served as a Navy Surface Warfare Officer on active and reserve duty for 34 years, retiring in 2015.  She served on U.S. Navy ships starting in 1982, just 4 years after the Supreme Court ruled that women could not be barred from serving at sea.  Her first ship on active duty was based in the Mediterranean and supported Beirut operations in the early 1980s.  Her service has taken her to numerous countries in the Pacific, Middle East, European and Central Asia regions.  She served in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom and in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield and Storm.  She is proud to have continued her family’s military heritage.  Her father served in the U.S. Air Force, and her grandfathers served in the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, and British Army.