27 Responses

  1. 5minutes
    5minutes at |

    I'd add in Jessica Lynch, the woman who was the first female POW in the Iraq War.

    1. Sacraman
      Sacraman at |

      I wouldn't. AT the end of the day she didn't accomplish anything but get captured due to poor preperation on the Army Reserves part for their part time soldiers.

      1. 5minutes
        5minutes at |

        True, but she put a face on the war that hadn't been there before. She became the face of injured POWs early in the Iraq War.

        And while it's true that Shoshana Johnson went through more, the fact that she's been ignored by the media, sadly, means she has less impact. It's a shame, too.

        1. SGTBIGCAT
          SGTBIGCAT at |

          That whole situation was due to an officer who ingnored everything ever taught a member of the military. Radios went down, GPS batteries died, an officer with a map, and a huge ego. It doesnt matter if they were active or reserve, he was an idiot.

  2. Erin
    Erin at |

    Shoshana Johnson deserves to be on this list over Jessica Lynch. Her capture was all but ignored, and hardly anybody remembers her name, even though she went through worse then Jessica Lynch.

  3. Crazy2lolo
    Crazy2lolo at |

    I want to say " Thank You To all Woman Who Gave Their All "

  4. Spocker
    Spocker at |

    You ought to mention Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark II computer, developing one of the first machine-independent programming languages. She is also credited for the term 'debug', after finding that moth got into a computer. She was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the highest non-combat award possible, for her lifetime of service and contribution.

    You have her to partially thank for being able to read this.

    1. Mark
      Mark at |

      +1 for Admiral Hopper. Brilliant and a hell of a talker. She actually got a correspondent from 60 Minutes to actually understand something about computing…

  5. Dorothy Tecklenburg
    Dorothy Tecklenburg at |

    You missed Celita Kramer, the first female test pilot. She is in an exhibit at the Smithsonian for her achievements.

  6. David
    David at |

    Florence Nightingale.

    Military Medicine


    Ursula Graham Bower.

    Lived with the Naga tribesmen and fought against the Japanese in World War II

    The Deb who became a guerrilla: The Rodean-educated beauty who saved the Empire from the Japanese

  7. Lynda
    Lynda at |

    Seems like Grace Hopper should of made the list!!!

  8. Joeli
    Joeli at |

    Really? 9 out of 10 most influential women in military history come from USA? What a load of… How about: Anne Josephe Theroigne de Mericourt, Bibi Sahib Kaur, Boudica, Candace of Meroe, Christina Gyllenstierna, Fastrada, Isabella of France, Julia Agrippina, Lyudmila Pavlichenko, Marina Raskova, Melisende of Jerusalem, Nadezhda Durova, Sabiha Gökçen, Queen Tamar of Georgia, Wang Cong'er, Zabibe, Princess Zhao of Pingyang.

    Google it up if you don't know who they are.

    None of these are from USA, and depending on your criteria, when taking these names into account, the list of the most influential military women wouldn't have any Americans left in top ten. Some of these women helped changing the outcome of battles that shaped the world. Many of these women stood up against the greatest military forces of the world. Some commanded armies. Some even commanded armies that consisted only of women. The post above claims that "For decades the women were not allowed in military" Which one? There has been women in military openly for thousands of years, continuously.

    1. TopTenz Master
      TopTenz Master at |

      Joeli – If you like, I would be happy to publish a list on International Women Who Changed the Face of the Military. Your points are valid and I would like to have them addressed in a list. You may contact me at admin at toptenz.net

      1. Emi
        Emi at |

        Honestly, I think that ALL of the top 10 females should be ones who changed the face of whatever war they were part of, not just because they received a medal (which is an amazing feat for these women given their time periods, but to be honest, their achievements didn’t change the tide of wars or battles the way Joan of Arc did…except maybe Margaret Corbin and Elizabeth Necume). Although, I disagree that NO women from the US would make the top 10, I don’t think 7 out of 9 of them should have made that list….This list should be renamed the Top 10 US Women Who Changed the Face of the Military…

  9. JFS in IL
    JFS in IL at |

    My sil claims to be the first female paratrooper out of Fort Bragg (or wherever it is they jump out of airplanes.) Just saying.

    She did NOT tell her folks what she was up to, either.

    1. Emi
      Emi at |

      ummm, idk about that…women aren’t allowed to be paratroopers…it’s part of the DoD’s current laws regarding military personnel. Women in the US are not allowed to serve on the front lines of combat (at least not legally, meaning no females as paratroopers, air force combat controllers, navy seals, army rangers, infantry, etc). However, that rule should be changed, because realistically it is happening anyways, females are getting killed on the front lines of combat just as often as the men in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Realistically, it’s impossible to keep females off the front lines of combat because if a team is under attack, they sure as heck aren’t gonna send the females on the team to go “hide in the humV”, they’re gonna want another gun protecting their backs. Current DoD regulations lead to several combat operations cover ups in order to prevent court martials that wouldn’t be an issue if DoD would get rid of that regulation.

      1. maggie
        maggie at |

        I’m a PARATROOPER, have been such for over 20 years now and there have been plenty of us over the last 40 years. You need to educate yourself before you speak. We aren’t girls or ladies- we are Soldiers that have volunteered a second time (we are an all volunteer force). There are no short cuts- we dont get cuter, lighter chutes, we ruck, run, we go downrange- The school is the same, we all jump from the 34′ tower, use the same types of chutes, we all jump from the same aircraft- please stop demonstrating your ignorance.

        1. 11B
          11B at |

          You must be joking. Of course you get short cuts, unless you think a “flexed arm hang” is the same thing as a “pull-up”. You ever looked at the difference between the scoring system on your PT test and the male one? I have no problem with female soldiers, but you damned sure do get some “short cuts”.

  10. John
    John at |

    Catalina de Erauso was an early 17th century Catalan woman who escaped from her convent, disguised herself as a man and served as a soldier in South America. She killed a few men in bar fights but ended up as a celebrity. Unlike Joan of Arc, the Pope gave her a special dispensation to wear men's clothing.


  11. Matti
    Matti at |

    Grace Hopper and Hanna Reitsch? I really think they should be in the list.

  12. Spc. Gossett, Jessic
    Spc. Gossett, Jessic at |

    I have a few additions however they would be more suited to army only.

    1. Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers who in 1942 introduced a bill for the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) a quasi military group of volunteers that would fill in non combat roles such as administrative and combat service support clerics. Many of the women above were enlisted in to these jobs but they recieved thier oppertunity to do so because of her. The bill passed May 14, 1942.

    2. General George C. Marshall, while not a woman it was his request that took Edith Nourse Rogers bill a step further. In 1943 General Marshall was Cheif of Staff and requested that congress make the WAAC a full status military branch of the Army and swelled Fort McCellan with a new generation of servicemembers.

    3. 1Sgt. Betty J. Benson was the first WAC graduate to successfully complete Sergeants Major Academy

    4. Capt. Mary Morgan was the first woman to command a significant number of men in the Army.

    5. Lt. General Claudia J. Kennedy the first woman in the Army to acheive so high a rank. For the Marines it was Lt. Gen. Carol A. Mutter, the Navy had Vice Admiral Patricia A Tracey, and the Air Force had Lt. Gen. Leslie F. Keene.

  13. Rita Beigh
    Rita Beigh at |

    This an issue that really bothers me. Ladies and Gentlmen, there is NO such thing as the “Congressional Medal of Honor”. Never has been, never will be. Interesting that so many media hacks of the world are unaware of this fact. Awarding of the medal does, indeed, require Congressional approval. Despite that, the official name of the award is simply “The Medal of Honor”. Oddly enough, it is also the only decoration awarded that is forever owned by the government. There are specific laws that protect it including prohibitions against its sale, its being faked, etc. The recipient, if alive, receives additional pay and the award is to be saluted when appropriate. Remember, “Medal of Honor”. Semper Fi!

    1. TopTenz Master
      TopTenz Master at |

      Thanks for the lesson on The Medal of Honor. Semper Fi, indeed!

  14. Jane Morai
    Jane Morai at |

    I’d personally like to thank all of the women who have contributed to the military including the ones who weren’t on the lists. Thanks for sharing your top 10.

  15. Natalie
    Natalie at |

    How about Brig. Gen. Cadoria? FIRST woman to lead an all-male battalion and the first African American woman to make the rank of General in the U.S. Army. She retired in 1990, one of only four female generals in the Army, and was the highest ranking one.

  16. Mindy
    Mindy at |

    I just want to thank you for this list AND for all the comments. I run a Girl Scout Day Camp and we are doing a “Strong Girls Strong Women” theme and this site and discussion has really helped me get some great women to teach them about. Thank you again.

  17. Luke Betts
    Luke Betts at |

    All of them except for Joan of Arc are ‘merican???????


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