Of all the advancements made in the 20thcentury, nothing was more important to the viability of women making a career in the U.S. armed forces than the ability to combine military service with parenthood—just as men did. This was the result of hard-fought policy and statutory battles in the courts, Congress, and the Pentagon. By 1976, all the military departments revised their policies so that pregnant women, including aviators, were no longer automatically discharged. Retired Naval Flight Officer Linda Maloney, one of the first women to serve in combat duty as part of a carrier air wing, has collected the personal stories of many female military aviators who have served on the frontlines as well as the home front. Their service narratives are an important contribution to our national defense, their children, and to the corpus of American military social history.
Captain, U.S. Navy, Retired; first female commanding officer of a Navy squadron