Discover 7 Female Figures Who Marked The History Of The Army

Today is March 8, the day the world celebrates the achievements of women in all sectors; politics, business, society, culture, and the arts. In addition, women claim gender equality to enjoy the same benefits as men. Here we can mention salaries, appreciation and promotion opportunities.

The first attempts started in 1907 in New York, Germany, Russia, and other European countries. But it was officially recognized by the United Nations, as the International Day of Women in 1977.

Every year, the United Nations determines a theme to celebrate this day. In 2018, it was #metoo #timeisup, in 2019, it was #eachforequal and this year, it’s #breakthebias. It encourages women all over the world to join this movement to get rid of all the social biases in their family, school, and workplace.

Women can’t excel like men, this is the job of a man, the productivity of a woman declines when she is married or has kids, women put their families before their jobs…. All these stereotypes are circulating in our society nowadays in different shapes.

We decided to participate in this movement in our way, by showcasing some of the most popular women figures in military history.

Women have proven their worth and played a crucial role in several wars. Soldiers, doctors, nurses, and even correspondents are proof that women can do anything when given the chance.

In this article, we will highlight 7 figures that marked the army’s history all over the globe. We are talking about:

  • Florence Nightingale
  • Sarah Emma Edmonds
  • Mariana Grajales de Maceo
  • Marguerite Higgins
  • Fatima Zohra Ardjoune
  • Milunka Savić
  • Sabiha Gökçen

Florence Nightingale

Born in 1820, Florence Nightingale, or “The lady with the Lamp” was a brave British nurse who put a rich and peaceful life behind her back to treat the soldiers after the Crimean War during the Ottoman Empire period.

In addition to treating the wounds of soldiers and teaching junior nurses, she was focused on the importance of hygiene, sanitation, and proper alimentation to keep fighters healthy during the battles.

She has proved that a huge number of fighters were dying, not from injuries but diseases related to the problems mentioned above.

She was called the lady of the Lamp because she would stay alone all night to look after the patients.

Sarah Emma Edmonds

She also started as a nurse, but it didn’t last long. She was a teenager when she escaped her abusive father from Canada to the USA. Then, she joined the second Michigan Infantry under the name of Franklin Flint Thompson, serving as a field nurse when the Civil War broke.

The career of Sarah Emma Edmonds changed when she started disguising herself to spy on the enemy. She was caught and deserted for several years but in 1897, she became the only woman admitted to The Grand Army of the Republic, which is known as the Civil War veteran’s organization. She passed out a year after.

Mariana Grajales

Mariana Grajales fought for the independence of Cuba during the Ten Years’ War, Little War, and the War of 1895.

She participated along with her husband and son. Her role was mainly focused on running hospitals, Controlling provision grounds, and treating wounded fighters on the battlefields.

She was exiled in Jamaica after the death of her husband to protect the rest of her family. For the last 15 years of her life, she continued organizing groups of Cuban exiles in Jamaica.

Cubans have dedicated a lot of projects to commemorate the efforts of Mariana and her family. Mariana Grajales Airport, Antonio Maceo Airport, Mariana Grajales Women’s Squad, to mention a few. She was also named “The mother of Cuba”.

Marguerite Higgins

“I wouldn’t be here if there were no trouble. Trouble is news, and the gathering of news is my job.”
This is the motto of the American journalist Marguerite Higgins, who covered multiple wars and political events from her early beginnings.

Her first time was in 1944 during the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp and the trials at Nuremberg. Then, she covered the Korean war, the Vietnam War and worked as a syndicated columnist for Newsday.

She received the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 1951.

Fatima Zohra Ardjoune

Fatima Zohra Ardjoune is the first woman in the Arab world and the first Algerian to serve as a general of the Ain Naadja Military Hospital.

She joined the People’s National Army of Algeria in 1972 to work on research about bloodborne diseases with her husband.

From commandant to a professor to lieutenant colonel, her career was full of achievements.

After her thesis was approved, she worked at universities supervising research students at the National School of Military Health after their graduation.

Milunka Savić

This Serbian woman was recognized for many achievements in a short period. She disguised herself as a man to fight against the enemy in the first Balkan war on behalf of her brother.

Her identity was revealed when she was wounded and being treated in a hospital. But thanks to her competence and skills, they accepted her as a warrior woman.

She received 8 awards in total. Karađorđe Star with Swords twice, the French Légion d’Honneur (Legion of Honor) twice, the Russian Cross of St. George, the British medal of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael, the Serbian Miloš Obilić medal, and the French Croix de Guerre 1914–1918 with the gold palm attribute for service in World War I.

To commemorate this Serbian heroine, in Jošanička Banja, they have opened a memorial complex with a permanent exhibition in 2020. Furthermore, a Swedish band devoted a song to her, entitled “Lady of the Dark”

From the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia, women have proved their strength and success in one of the most difficult jobs in the world, a soldier. Indeed, One day isn’t enough to celebrate their worth, yet it’s a good opportunity to show them gratitude, love, and appreciation.

Sabiha Gökçen

Sabiha Gökçen was a Turkish aviator. During her flight career, she flew around 8,000 hours and participated in 32 different military operations. She was the world’s first female fighter pilot, aged 23. As an orphan, she was one of the thirteen children adopted by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

She has many awards and commemorations. Some of them; the second airport in Istanbul, was named after her (Sabiha Gökçen International Airport), She is recognized as the first female combat pilot by The Guinness Book of World Records and was selected as the only female pilot for the poster of “The 20 Greatest Aviators in History” published by the United States Air Force in 1996.

Sabiha Gökçen died of heart failure at 88 in 2001.