Annie Graham (l) from Detroit was the first African American woman to enlist in the Marines and Ann Lamb (r) from New York City, the second. They reported to Parris Island, South Carolina,on the same day in 1949.  

From the American Revolution to the present, women serving in or with the US armed forces have broken records for achievement and overcome barriers of gender.

Some of these women are well-known. Rear Admiral Grace Hopper's contributions to computer and information technology, for example, are engraved in the historic record.

Other women's accomplishments are less publicized such as the first women fighter pilots, the first women to enter the military academies, the first African American women to break racial barriers in the military or women who were casualties of war—even though they were not officially allowed to serve in combat.

Learn more about these pathbreakers. Link to their stories through the images below and come back often as we continue to add to the gallery.


Women in the US Military - Pathbreakers