Women Veterans Services
Women represent an irreplaceable, valuable part of the armed forces of the United States. Sources trace the role of American women in wartime back to the Continental Army and our Nation’s struggle for independence.
The formal inclusion of a female unit in our military structure did not come until just after the Spanish American War. More than 1,500 women actively served under a civilian contract to meet emergency needs during that period of conflict. The Army Nurse Corps was established in 1901 and since then the number of women in the military and the roles they serve have steadily escalated and expanded. Today, there are 200,000 women in uniform, representing about 14 percent of the total active duty force of 1,384,000 members.
Despite their significant contributions, many former servicewomen have neglected to apply for the benefits they have rightfully earned. Many people, including those women who served their country, mistakenly believe that they are not considered "veterans".
Women currently comprise more than 10% of our active duty forces and more than 15% of our Guard and Reserve forces. Idaho lost its first, and currently only, woman to combat action in 2005. In the State of Idaho, there are an estimated 10,000 women veterans, with more being discharged into our communities from the military daily.
To address the needs of women veterans in our state, the Idaho Division of Veterans Services (IDVS) remains committed to:
Providing advocacy for women veterans
Encouraging and supporting recognition of women veterans' contributions to Idaho and the nation
Providing outreach for women veterans' programs and issues