The following is a press release from Congresswoman Katherine Clark’s office submitted to SOURCE media. Assistant Speaker Clark is a Democrat.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Assistant Speaker Clark (D-MA-5) and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced a bipartisan resolution to honor the women who served in World War II and recognize the role of Representative Edith Nourse Rogers —Massachusetts’ first woman Congressman — in establishing the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps and the Women’s Army Corps.
In 1942, Rogers’ legislation to create the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps became law, ensuring that if women served in support of the Army, they would have the same recognition and benefits as male soldiers. In 1943, the Army finally removed the auxiliary status of the WAAC units. “Edith Nourse Rogers was the first woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts. 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,” said Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark. “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.”
Assistant Speaker Clark is joined in leading the resolution by Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-5), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA-6), Ann Wagner (R-MO-2), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11), Don Bacon (R-NE-2), Elaine Luria (D-VA-2), Liz Cheney (R-WY-At Large), Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1), Jackie Speier (D-CA-14), and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA-2).
“By the end of the War, more than 400,000 women had served the United States in military capacities. Those women who served, despite their merit and the recognized value and importance of their contributions to the effort of the United States during the War, were not given status equal to their male counterparts; and struggled for years to receive the appreciation of Congress and the people of the United States. Those women helped to catalyze the social, demographic, and economic evolutions that occurred after the War and that continue to this day… and are owed a great debt of gratitude for their service to the United States,” wrote the Members in the resolution.
“When our nation has asked ‘who among you will serve,’ women have consistently volunteered,” said Senator 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.”