Did the Woman Branches have any authority over then men?

The Women’s Branches of the various services existed in a weird limbo where they weren’t really independent but weren’t fully integrated either with their own rank structure. Some like the Air Transport Auxiliary were also technically civilian groups. Could men from the main services be commanded/ have orders issued to them from woman from the auxiliaries and did it vary by country?


I can speak from my Mom’s actual experience in WWII. She was not an ‘auxiliary’, she was a naval officer.

She was a Lt., and regularly (that is, 8-on, 16-off) ran Naval District 6, coordinating a variety of anti-submarine units off the southeast coast of the US in 1944 and 1945. Her boss, aware that she was really good at her job and some men might be, well, put off by it, told her if there was a problem to tell them she was the Boss’ (the Admiral) secretary. It worked.

In July 1943, the Army’s Auxillary Women’s organization (the WAACs) was disolved by FDR’s order, and the women officially inducted into the US Army, with ranks preserved.

That’s about all I know, sorry. Don’t know much about other country’s…


A military rank is a military rank.

The US Army would be the best example because of its organizational structure, but it would be applicable for the other branches too. The Women’s Army Corps (WAC) as operating in parallel to the Corps of Engineers, Medical Corps, Signal Corps, Coast Artillery, etc and the other specialty branches within the Army. Thus women were rarely in a position where they would give orders to men, but it certainly could happen with the appropriate rank.


rank is rank, but sexists will be sexist. It really depends on the strength of authority of the rank vs. the urge to be sexist how exactly it will manifest, but that it will happen is super likely.

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I think Eugeme Sledge Marine vet, also wrote about nurses getting officer ranks and thus the right to sauté. This was done to give them protection in the male heavy population and it gave them authority.


My mother was a WAC Sgt. stationed in Paris. She was a telephone operartor.


Thanks for letting us know and a very heartfelt welcome to the forum. Let me/us know should there be any queries. We have tons of material here already and always looking for more

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