The WAVES, created by legislation signed by President Franklin D.
Roosevelt, became a World War II division of the U.S. Navy, and
consisted entirely of women. The name was the acronym for "Women
Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service”.
Mildred McAfee (below), President of Wellesley College, was sworn in
as a Naval Reserve Lieutenant Commander in early August of 1942. She
was the first female commissioned officer in U.S. Navy history, and the
first director of the WAVES.