U.S. Army Women's Museum (AWM)
The United States Army Women's Museum preserves and shares the history of women in the U.S Army before and after the official integration of women into the Armed Services. Although the current facility opened in 2001, the museum traces its heritage back to 1955 when the WAC (Women's Army Corps) Museum opened at Fort McClellan, Alabama. Visitors should start with the museum's permanent exhibit which offers a chronological exploration of the role of American women in conflicts from the American Revolution to the present. The museum also offers special exhibits that explore certain time periods, events, and themes. Guests can even get a sneak peak of future exhibits as the museum includes displays about future programs and exhibits.
Backstory and Context
The U.S. Army women’s museum offers multiple exhibits that contains even more information in each one. The first exhibit has the work or the Female Engagement team and cultures that was being operated in the Afghanistan Theater. Another one is about Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester, she was the first women to receive the Silver Star since WWII. The “Battery X” is available in this exhibit and it is a top-secret WWII mission were they trained women’s Army corps to use the 40mm and the 90mm anti-aircraft guns. The 40mm gun was transferred to the museum by the Ordnance Museum. Many of the women in WWII had never of left home before. A lot of their first experience in the Arm was the barracks life. They had a footlocker and were only allowed thing that could fit in their lockers and had to hang their clothes on a rod behind their beds.
The next exhibit has the anniversary of the attack of 9/99-2001. This is a small memorial, with a piece of the Pentagon from the day of the attack. Also shown is the women of WWI. This is a temporary display to celebrate the role of the women in WWI. There is also the L’Escadron Bleu-Blue squadron WWII. This exhibit tells the story of eleven brave French women known as the Escadron Bleu. They were a part of an operation that started April and went to November of 1945. They traveled thousands of miles and transported thousands of French men, women, and children back to France.
The history of the museum starts with its opening which was May 4th 1955 at Fort McClellan as the Women’s Army Crops. Shortly after this this relocated to a wing of the WAC training Battalion Headquarters building. The U.S. Women’s army says that “August 18th 1961, the WAC Museum was renamed the Edith Nourse Rogers Museum in honor of the Congresswoman from Massachusetts who introduced bills in 1942 and 1943 which established the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) and later the WAC” (United States Women’s Museum). Today the museum sees more than 45,000 visitors a year. Over 7,000 k-12 students and almost over 11,000 soldiers were a part of the educational programs every year.