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Celebrating Women in History Month

As we celebrate Women in History Month, we reflect on the long-standing integration of women in the Service.

US Coast Guard Celebrates Womens History Month

The National Coast Guard Museum is dedicated to honoring and preserving our history, and women play a significant role throughout the Coast Guard’s 233-year history.

A few moments in time:

  • In the 1830s women were first officially assigned as keepers in the Lighthouse Service.
  • In 1942 The Women’s Reserve of the U. S. Coast Guard Reserve program (officially nicknamed the “SPARs”), was first established.
  • In 1972 the first women’s Reserve Enlisted Basic Indoctrination classes were established, with four ratings available: Yeoman, Storekeeper, Radioman, and Hospital Corpsman.
  • In 1974 the first group of women enlisted as “Regulars” reported to Cape May. The Recruit Company, designated Sierra 89, was made up of 33 women in an all-female recruit company.
  • In 1976 50 cadets entered the Coast Guard Academy, leading the way for weomen among the four largest federal service academies.
  • 1979 saw the first integrated crews with the CGC Monomoy and Pea Island becoming the first fully integrated patrol boats in the Coast Guard.
  • 2003 marked the first active-duty women to serve in a combat zone when CGC Boutwell served in the Northern-Arabian Gulf in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
  • And on June 18 2021, ADM Linda Fagan assumed duties as the 32nd Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, with the rank of four-star admiral, the first woman in history to hold that rank in the Coast Guard. The following year the Senate confirmed ADM Linda Fagan as the Coast Guard’s 27th Commandant, the first woman to hold that position and also the first woman to command an armed service of the U.S.

Behind these milestones are the stories of incredible people who have paved the way through history. At the National Coast Guard Museum Association, celebrating trailblazers and supporting the preservation of history is our mission. Please join me in honoring our past and supporting our Museum.

Semper Paradus.