Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Stephen Stein

Committee Member

Beverly Bond

Committee Member

Charles Crawford

Committee Member

Andrei Znamenski


This dissertation examines the history and role of Enlisted Women in the Air National Guard, 1968-2012. By examining this previously undocumented agency of women's history, I clarify the political and cultural dynamics that directly factored into the accession of women as enlisted members of the Air National Guard. This dissertation includes a brief look at some of the major highlights of women throughout history from around the world who took up arms during periods of conflict to defend their homes and families. The background and demise of the draft that led to the development of the All-Volunteer Force which today provides the cornerstone of our nation's manpower defense capability. The history and formation of the Air National Guard from its National Guard origins in 1946, the introduction of women into the enlisted ranks of the 1970s all-male environment of the Air National Guard. The subsequent policy changes that took place throughout the 1980s and '90s to accomodate the ever increasing number of enlisted women within the Air Guard. Finally, the recognition of the accomplishments of both individuals and groups of enlisted women who have risen to top leadership positions within their career fields and the Air National Guard as a whole through their service during peace and conflict. Today's military mission of the United States armed forces would be impossible to execute without the participation and direct efforts of the enlisted women of the Air National Guard. I use a straightforward approach to historical data collection to construct a chronological narrative of the individuals and events that took place to provide an historical essay. I have collected data from archives, interviews, newspapers, published reports, and personal journals. The story of enlisted women in the Air National Guard is relatively a new one compared to the legacy of enlisted women within the other branches of America's armed services. The dedication, sacrifices, determination, selflessness, patriotism, and achievements of this group of women deserves to be established within a comprehensive record in order that future scholars can benefit from to support their unique investigations into women's historiography.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.