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One of the newest elements of the Navy, the Waves, has recently attained "voting age." Formed in 1942, when the Navy faced an expansion of fantastic proportions in order to vanquish our enemies on the European and Pacific fronts, the enlisted women and women officers of the Waves soon won an enviable reputation for devotion to duty, dedication to our American ideals, and willingness to undertake any job within their physical capability so a Navyman might be freed for combat duty.

The Waves have no special privileges. They are subject to the same regulations as Navymen and entitled to the same rights. They gain their ratings in the same technical schools attended by Navymen. They compete for promotion, and serve in rating assignments within an authorized allowance.

The Waves became a permanent part of the U.S. Navy in 1949 when President Truman signed a bill--passed by Congress late in 1948--giving them a role in the national defense. In 1952, the Navy authorized appointment of qualified enlisted women to commissioned officer grade. From the outset they had been eligible for all petty officer rates with full pay and allowances.

Foreign service for the Waves began in 1949 when the first officers and enlisted Waves were assigned to duties in London. . Waves must serve a minimum of two years in the continental United States before they become eligible for foreign service. Waves serving in naval aviation may be assigned to foreign naval air stations. They serve under the same policy of rotation between foreign and home duty that applies to Navymen.

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