Despite these challenges, many AfricanAmerican soldiers fought with distinctionin the war. For example, the AfricanAmerican 92nd and 93rd Infantry Divisionsfought in bitter battles along the WesternFront. Many of them won praise from boththe French commander, Marshal HenriPétain, and the United States commander,General John Pershing. The entire 369thInfantry Regiment won the highly prizedFrench decoration, the Croix de Guerre(“war cross”), for gallantry in combat.Women in the MilitaryWorld War I was the firstwar in which women officially served in the armedforces, although only in noncombat positions. Womennurses had served in both the army and navy sincethe early 1900s, but as auxiliaries. Before World War I,nurses were not assigned ranks, and the women werenot technically enlisted in the army or navy.As the military prepared for war in 1917, it faced asevere shortage of clerical workers because so manymen were assigned to active duty. Early in 1917, thenavy authorized the enlistment of women to meet itsclerical needs. By the end of the war, over 11,000women had served in the navy. Although most per-formed clerical duties, others served as radio opera-tors, electricians, pharmacists, and photographers.The army still did not enlist women. Instead, ithired them as temporary clerical workers. The onlywomen to actually serve in the army were in theArmy Nursing Corps.Army nurses were the onlywomen in the military sent overseas during the war.Over 20,000 nurses served in the army during thewar, including more than 10,000 overseas. DescribingHow did Congressensure that the military had enough troops to fight the war?Organizing Industry The progressive emphasis on careful planning andscientific management shaped the federal govern-ment’s approach to mobilizing the American warReading CheckWomen and WarAlthough not allowed in combat, many women served in auxiliary posi-tions, such as nursing. Here, Birmingham, Alabama, women collect money during a Red Crossparade in 1918.In what other capacities did women serve during the war?HistoryCHAPTER 14World War I and Its Aftermath457
Propaganda PostersGeorge Creel’sCommittee on Public Information encouragedAmericans to do all they could to support thewar effort.What is the general theme ofthese posters? Do you think the posterswere effective?Historyeconomy. To efficiently manage the relationshipbetween the federal government and private compa-nies, Congress created special boards. These boardsemphasized cooperation between big business and government. Business executives, professionalmanagers, and government representatives staffedthe boards. Their goal was to ensure the most efficientuse of national resources to further the war effort.The War Industries BoardOne of the first agenciesestablished was the War Industries Board(WIB).