The U.S. military’s demographics over the years have become increasingly representative of the American population.
Yet gender demographics in the armed services continue to be unequal, with women today representing just 16% of enlisted forces.
To showcase their patriotism and sacrifice, Stacker compiled a list of women who broke barriers throughout U.S. military history
Ann Elizabeth Dunwoody
Gen. Ann Elizabeth Dunwoody is the first woman in U.S. military history to be promoted to four-star general.
Vice Adm. Sandra Stosz became the first woman to lead a U.S. military service academy when she was selected to be the superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
Before she was elected to the U.S. Senate, Sen. Tammy Duckworth was an Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient.
Capt. Kristen Griest was one of the first women to graduate from the Army Ranger School and has since become the first woman infantry officer in the U.S. Army.