Happy Women’s History Month! For our Artifact Friday today, we are going to do something a little different today and talk about women’s service in the United States military!
The US Navy began allowing women to serve as early as the Civil War when they served as nurses in the Navy at hospitals and hospital ships. Then in 1908, the US government officially established the Navy Nurse Corps which remained an all female outfit until 1965.
When World War One hit, the Navy opened up to allow women to serve in the reserves taking care of other jobs so that all the men possible could be in combat duties.
World War Two opened up a lot more service opportunities for women including the Army, Marine Corps, and Army Air Corps. The Navy as well developed a women’s naval service called, the Waves or Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. Unlike the WAC or Women’s Auxiliary Corps, the Waves were given equal status to male Navy service members. The Waves continued to operate until 1978 when women were integrated officially into the US Navy.
Recently we opened a small exhibit about Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandi Hall (Scott) a recent member of the United States Navy. In this collection, we have the training shorts and yellow shirt as well as the NWU working uniform.
The NWU female uniform is a blue, digital camouflage made introduced to the Navy branch in 2004. These pixelated NWUs turned out to be incredibly useful in everyday use. The fabric is designed to be waterproof as well as maintain heat during the colder months; in addition to this, this specific type of material gives it a “starched” look eliminating the need to be constantly ironing uniforms. The fabric also reduces the number of snags and tears the previous uniforms would receive. Fun fact, the pixelated look was created to hide stains that could be received during work days! In short, the NWUs gave the Navy a cleaner and neater presentation. Now that you know a little about the NWU Type 1, here is a bit of background on the woman who wore it.
Born in Mena, AR, Brandi Hall (Scott) joined the US Navy in 2010 at 26 years old. A decision that would change her life forever.
After attending boot camp in a 900 special division which performed state flag ceremonies during boot camp graduation, she attended A-school in Pensacola, Florida.
It was during A-school that she studied to be an Aviation Electrician’s Mate before furthering her Naval education at
C-school in Lemoore, CA where she received more specialized training.
Petty Officer Third Class (PO3) Hall (Scott) then served the rest of her career stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar as part of VMFAT-101 USMC Training Squadron.
There she was responsible for maintaining, troubleshooting, towing, and performing final checks of F-18 Legacy Hornets on the flight line and carrier flight deck.
PO3 Hall (Scott) is quoted as saying, “The United States Navy allowed me so many incredible opportunities. It provided me with invaluable life experience, allowed me to finish my degree after my service, and truly helped me grow as a person. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Next time you are here at the museum, make sure to stop by and see PO3 Hall’s new display!