On March 17, 1917, when Loretta Perfectus Walsh enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve, she became the first woman allowed to serve outside of a nursing specialty in any branch of the U.S. armed forces. Loretta paved the way for women to serve in all branches of the U.S. military. Loretta was a trailblazer.
Much has changed in the past hundred years. However, women who actively serve or who are military veterans continue to blaze trails.
Today, women make up 10 percent of the total veteran population, and 20 percent of veterans under the age of 35. While the percentage of women who have served is growing, the percentage of women who are veterans is still minuscule: only 1.6 percent, or 1 in 63 women.