LINCOLN, Neb. — From 1942-1946, U.S. lawmakers allowed women opportunities to serve in the military but intended for them to serve only during World War II and set a limit of 2 percent of total personnel within each service, Army, Army Air Corps, Marine Corps and Navy, as well as excluding combat positions.
The Women’s Armed Services Integration Act became law in 1948, granting women the right to permanently serve in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and the newly formed Air Force.
The many limitations once placed on women in U.S. military service no longer exist as policy and might seem like ancient history to women now serving in the Nebraska Air National Guard. The job opportunities now available to Airmen — a term that refers to both men and women in our ranks — are determined by standardized qualifications and aptitude as measured by the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), a test given to potential recruits before they enlist.
“My dad was an Air Force pilot,” said Col. Katy Millwood, 155th Operations Group Commander. “In my head, I just always thought about the military being an option. I could see myself doing that, I didn’t know how I was going to get there.”
Millwood had no idea about the Guard, but heard about it from a friend and decided to check it out.