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Photo of WACs at Camp Lee in late 1949 enjoying recreational activities
WACs in the Post Exchange, Camp Lee (late 1949), enjoying recreational activities

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Fort Lee and the Legacy of Army Women
A Local Legacy

The new U.S. Army Women's Museum at Fort Lee, Virginia, honors the women who have served in the U.S. Army.

During World War I, when Fort Lee was called Camp Lee, many women served there as nurses. During World War II, the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was established. That name was soon changed to the Women's Army Corps (WAC). In the beginning, the WAC was considered a temporary unit that would be broken up when World War II ended, but that didn't happen. Instead, the WAC Training Center was established at Camp Lee in 1948 and women trained there before moving on to their permanent Army assignments.

Women have served in the military since the beginning of our nation. During the Revolutionary War, Mary McCauley, better known as "Molly Pitcher," carried water to cool both the cannons and the soldiers in her husband's regiment. During the Civil War, Harriet Tubman (an escaped slave) worked as a nurse and spy for Union forces and led the Union Army on a raid that resulted in freedom for more than 750 slaves. During World War II, Jacqueline Cochran was the first woman to fly a heavy bomber over the Atlantic. She also trained American women as transport pilots in England for the Air Transport Auxiliary of the Royal Air Force. She was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in 1945 for her service in World War II.

The U.S. Army Women's Museum at Fort Lee highlights the bravery of these women and many others who have served in our country's forces.

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