The Military Service Academies

AF cadets

It literally took an act of Congress to open the United States Military Academies to women. In 1975, then President Ford, signed Public Law 94-106 requiring the services to open the hallowed halls of West Point, Annapolis, and the Air Force Academy to women. In the fall of 1976 female cadets began their education and military orientation as the "Class of '80" became the first coed class. When those first classes graduated in 1980 of the 327 women who began, 217 graduated - a whopping 66%.

The transition wasn't easy, and the lingering male chauvinist attitude didn't help matters but for the most part women cadets succeeded in ignoring the micro-minded while acing the academics. Academic failure was twice as high for the men.

Navy cadet

Women met challenges, and showed they were capable of handling the rigorous physical and military courses. Respect for the abilities of women slowly emerged within the academies and surprisingly the hallowed halls remained in tact and were not painted pink or adorned with Martha Stewart decor.


In 1989, Kristin M. Baker, Class of 1990, was the first female cadet named Brigade Commander and the first woman to command the West Point Corps of Cadets.

Graduation rates at West Point are nearly equal for males and females--79 percent and 75 percent, respectively.

West Point cadets

Today the young women who graduate from our military academies enter the respective services with pride in their accomplishment - just as do the young men. They don't want to be treated separately, or as unique - they simply want to do their job.


And that's the way it should be.

Here is how to contact the Armed Forces Service Academies:

United States Military Academy
ATTN: Public Affairs Office
Taylor Hall, Bldg 600
West Point, NY 10996-1788

United States Naval Academy
ATTN: Public Affairs Officer
121 Blake Road
Annapolis, MD 21402-5000

United States Air Force Academy
ATTN: Public Affairs Officer
2304 Cadet Drive, Suite 320
U.S. Air Force Academy, CO 80840-5016

United States Coast Guard Academy*
ATTN: Public Affairs Officer
15 Mohegan Avenue
New London, CT 06320-4195

* The Coast Guard reports directly to the Department of the Navy only in wartime; in peacetime it falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security.

United States Merchant Marine Academy**
ATTN: Public Affairs Officer
300 Steamboat Rd
Kings Point, NY 11024
(516) 773-5000

**The Merchant Marine Academy has a close relationship with the U.S. armed forces but is not part of the Defense Department.

Please note: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is displayed without profit or payment for those who have expressed an interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. Nothing on this site is for sale nor is it a commercial venture of any kind - it is a one person page for, and about military women - by one retired military woman.

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