A powerful World War II-era recruitment poster, "There's a man-size job for you in your Navy. Enlist in the Waves. Apply to your nearest Navy recruiting station or Office of Naval Officer Procurement," by John Falter, encouraging women to join the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) to support the United States Navy, created in 1943.
As World War II demanded a massive mobilization of resources, the United States Navy sought to recruit women to fill crucial roles on the home front. The WAVES program, established in 1942, enabled women to serve in non-combat positions, freeing up more men for active duty. The program aimed to capitalize on the skills and talents of American women, utilizing them in roles such as clerks, radio operators, and aviation mechanics.
John Falter's captivating poster features a determined and capable WAVES member in the foreground, with a dramatic naval battle raging in the background. This juxtaposition emphasizes the critical support that women provided to the military during the war, underscoring the importance of their contributions to the overall war effort. The bold text encourages women to take up "a man-size job" by enlisting, highlighting the need for every available resource in the fight against the Axis powers.
The recruitment of women into military service during World War II marked a significant shift in societal attitudes and gender roles. The WAVES program, along with similar initiatives in other branches of the military, paved the way for the increased participation of women in the armed forces and contributed to the broader transformation of gender dynamics in the United States.