Women Members with Military Service

Recent Congresses have seen a surge of women Members of Congress with prior military experience in the United States armed forces. Many earlier Women in Congress served as nurses during wartime, including Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts, Cathy Long of Louisiana, and Ruth Bryan Owen of Florida. However, none of these Members served directly in the nation's military branches. Likewise, Georgia Representative Helen Douglas Mankin served as an ambulance driver in a unit attached to the French Army during the Egypt-Palestine campaign, but the precise details of her military service remain elusive. Margaret Chase Smith served as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve from 1950 to 1957, but this overlapped with her Senate service and came after her time in the House.

Member NameStateMilitary Service
Heather WilsonNMU.S. Air Force, 1978–1989
Tulsi GabbardHIHawaii Army National Guard, 2003–present
Tammy DuckworthILU.S. Army Reserve, 1992–1996; Illinois Army National Guard, 1996–2014
Martha McSallyAZU.S. Air Force, 1988–2010
Joni ErnstIAU.S. Army Reserve, 1993–2001; Iowa Army National Guard, 2001–2015
Mikie SherrillNJU.S. Navy, 1994–2003
Christina HoulahanPAU.S. Air Force, 1989–1991; U.S. Air Force Reserve, 1991–2004
Elaine LuriaVAU.S. Navy, 1997–2017
Mariannette Miller-MeeksIAU.S. Army; U.S. Army Reserve