ⓘ Yeoman (F)

Yeoman (F)

ⓘ Yeoman (F)

Yeoman was an enlisted rate for women in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War I. The first Yeoman was Loretta Perfectus Walsh. At the time, the women were popularly referred to as "yeomanettes" or even "yeowomen", although the official designation was Yeoman.

Act Naval reserve 1916 allowed qualified "people" to serve, the Secretary of the Navy Joseph Daniels asked: "is there a law that says a Yeoman must be a man?" and said that there was not. He began the recruitment of women as Yeoman f, and less than a month the Navy officially was sworn in the first female sailor in U.S. history.

Typically, a woman petty officer reservists performed clerical work typing, shorthand, bookkeeping, accounting, inventory control, and telephone operation. A few became radio operators, electricians, draftsmen, pharmacists, photographers, telegraphers, experts in fingerprints, chemists, torpedo assemblers and camouflage designers. Female yeomen did not attend boot camp. A large number were stationed in Washington, D.C., while others served in naval stations, hospitals, shipyards and military factories across the country. Many recruiting stations employed the women who volunteered there as very effective recruiters, and as many as forty women in England, France, Puerto Rico, the virgin Islands, the canal zone, GUAM, and the territory of Hawaii.

Without new technologies, the Navy never had enough jobs to employ 11.274 womens yeomen. In addition, women in uniform was a positive image for the Navy to project. As well as their numerous responsibilities, military service, women were taught to March and drill at public rallies, recruiting campaigns, war bond drives, and the troops send-off.