The first female soldiers deployed to a combat zone were known as "Hello Girls" and often worked in dangerous conditions and on the front lines. These women had to be fluent in French and English and preferably have previous switchboard experience. Their job was to connect important calls, translate information, and communicate command orders.
The first contingent of "Hello Girls" arrived in France in March 1918. The "Hello Girls" earned the respect of soldiers and military leaders, but the military denied them veteran status. Ironically, other women who served as nurses, secretaries, or clerks did receive veteran status.
In March 2021, Congress introduced S.692 - Hello Girls Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2021.
The "Hello Girls" were among the first Americans to arrive in France and among the last to leave. After the Armistice, a contingent of "Hello Girls" moved to Paris to translate during peace proceedings.
Click the photo to read more about the Hello Girls on Fold3