FORT STEWART, Ga. — With Women’s History Month upon us, America honors the women in our Army and remembers the service of the Women’s Army Corps, known as the WAC. The 3rd Infantry Division Museum, located on Fort Stewart, commemorated the WAC with a display showcasing the organization’s history March 3, 2023.
The WAC was an all-women branch of the United States Army formed in 1943. The branch afforded women the opportunity to serve in the U.S. Army performing supply, medical, signal or administrative work. It is estimated that more than 150,000 women served in such roles during World War II.
The Army was greatly impacted by this change as it allowed women to join the armed forces and defend their nation alongside their male counterparts. This paved the way for women to continue to defend their nation in a greater capacity.
“The WAC was a big part of American history,” said Sandra Sharp, a retired staff sergeant with the WAC. “We evolved from 1943, where we were a totally separate group, and we integrated in 1978.”
Sandra joined the WAC in 1976 as a signal technician. She was one of the last WAC members to go to Army Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Sandra said it is important to honor the WAC because women provided critical support the Army through their service.
Sandra provided items for the display, which included WAC uniforms, pictures, a WAC flag, journals and books about the WAC. The museum display contained a telecommunication center, reflecting one of the jobs women could perform in the WAC.
“I was combat arms and served in armor and cavalry units, and we were always being supported by our direct support maintenance units that were run by women,” said Brian Sharp, a retired staff sergeant, 3rd Infantry Division veteran and husband to Sandra. “Women were real assets to the team; they had a lot of dedication to their jobs. You had to give them a lot of respect.”
Sandra and Brian spoke with museum visitors about the history of the WAC, and the importance of the organization to the modern armed services.
Sandra encourages women in the Army to keep on going and hold their heads up high.