The United States Naval Base in Newport was chosen as the site for the training and indoctrination of women officers that began in 1949. As one of the largest naval facilities on the east coast and the site of the Naval Training Station for enlisted (male) personnel since 1882, the training and education of naval personnel had been an important function of the naval command for sixty-seven years. Women officers were now part of Newport’s long naval heritage of education, training, and dedicated service. The Newport Women Officers School had the distinction of being the sole facility in the Navy for training women officers. Women first served as part of the Navy when the Navy Nurse Corps was established in 1908, but it was not until March of 1917 that women were recruited to serve in the Naval Reserve. The Naval Act of 1916 did not specify that a yeoman had to be male, hence Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, anticipating U.S. entry into World War I, ordered recruiters to enlist women in order to free men to fight at sea.
Cherpak, Evelyn M.
"The Women Officers School at Newport, 1949-1973,"
Newport History: Vol. 75
, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.salve.edu/newporthistory/vol75/iss255/2