Women Veterans

Below are facts about women veterans that remind us of how much they deserve recognition for their sacrifice and service to this country. These facts also remind us of our obligation to support them as they return home. To learn more, please explore the statistical findings and reported data provided on this page.

Historical Statistics

During the Civil War, at least 400 women on both sides of the conflict disguised themselves as men and assumed combat roles alongside men. –VA Report, 2007

“By the end of WW I, about 34,000 women served as nurses in all of the armed forces […] military women still had no military rank or were not given the benefits provided to men in the military and to male veterans.” –VA Report, 2007

Roughly 350,000 women served in the military during the course of the World War II. –VA Report, 2007

In 1948, President Harry Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, making women permanent members of the Regular and Reserve forces of the Army, Navy, Marines and the newly created Air Force. –VA Report, 2007


At its peak, the number of women in the armed forces during the Korean Conflict was 48,700. –VA Report, 2007

During the Vietnam War, nearly 7,000 women served in the military in the Southeast Asia theater of operations. –VA Report, 2007

In the 2001 National Survey of Veterans, 12 percent of women veterans reported having served in a combat or war zone. Nearly one-quarter reported contact with dead, dying or wounded compatriots during their military service. –VA Report, 2007

On January 24, 2013, the ground combat restrictions for women were rescinded by DOD, recognizing women for their service in combat roles. –Congressional Report, 2013

Current Profile of Women Veterans in the United States

The official Veteran population projection as of 9/30/2011 is 2,224,547 female veterans and 22,676,149 Veterans. VA Report, 2013

Research suggests that 81-93% of female veterans have been exposed to some type of trauma.– Women’s Bureau Trauma Care Guide, 2011

20% of female veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have been identified as experiencing Military Sexual Trauma (MST). – Women’s Bureau Trauma Care Guide, 2011

Between 2008 and 2009, women veterans represented 7.5% of homeless veterans residing in shelters—Women’s Bureau Trauma Care Guide, 2011

About 23 percent of all female veterans are currently divorced compared with 13 percent of non-veteran women.– VA Report, 2013

Compared with male veterans, female veterans are more likely to live in poverty and less likely to be insured. –VA Report, 2013

Data from the homeless registry of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) shows that approximately 21,000 female veterans have been touched by the VA’s homeless programs. Of the 200,000 veterans who seek VA assistance on health care and housing, about 10 percent are veterans of recent wars and about 13 percent are women. —National Summit on Women Veteran Homelessness, 2013

In 2009, 243,632 women Veterans received compensation from VA for a service-connected disability, representing about 16 percent of the total population of women Veterans. Thirty-nine percent of women Veterans receiving compensation had a combined disability rating of 50 percent or higher. –VA Report, 2011