IN THE MILITARY
|Women have played important military roles since the Revolutionary
War. Although unfairly treated in early wars, they distinguished
themselves in teaching sanitation, nursing and spying. Disguised
as men, they fought on battlefields. Although women were authorized
to serve as nurses in 1861, they were not eligible for health
care, salary and a uniform until 1899. During World War II,
opposition to women in the military was strong. In May of
1942, the Women’s Auxiliary Corps was formed to serve
with the Army but did not receive military status until August
1943. The Nurse Corps was denied rank until 1947 and veteran
status until 1977. Women are now integrated into the military
and serve in all capacities and levels of command.
IN THE MILITARY
|Black Americans were initially recruited to serve in the
Revolutionary War. Post-war laws first denied Blacks access
to military service, but they eventually fought and served
valiantly in all of the wars since 1812. Initially denied
freedoms, suffering rejection and segregation, they proved
themselves capable and courageous in fulfilling escalating
responsibilities in recognition of their abilities. Fully
integrated at the start of the Korean conflict and since,
Black Americans confirmed their ability to perform in battle
and at high levels of responsibility.
|In August 1990, Iraq invaded and occupied neighboring Kuwait.
The United Nations and the Arab League condemned the action
and imposed an economic embargo on Iraq. An international
force gathered in Saudi Arabia to prevent further Iraqi aggression.
On 17 January 1991, after a withdrawal deadline had passed,
the United Nations Coalition, led by the United States, began
a massive air attack called Operation Desert Storm.
|On 17 January 1991, the Gulf War air campaign was launched
by a coalition led by the United States after Iraq failed
to comply with the United Nations deadline to withdraw from
Kuwait. Command centers, radar installations, military bases
and other targets near Baghdad were destroyed. Continued bombing
attacks destroyed Iraqi military units, enemy convoys and
targets in southern Iraq and Kuwait.
|On 29 January 1991, Iraqi armor and mechanized infantry
attacked United States and Arab joint forces along the Kuwait-Saudi
Arabian border. Coalition air power ended the four-day battle.
It was the major Iraqi offensive of the war, later determined
to be the “defining moment” of Operation Desert
GULF GROUND WAR
|The Gulf War ground offensive began on 24 February 1991.
The United States led coalition forces began a flanking maneuver
that would prove to be fateful to the Iraqi army. This action
overran Iraqi positions, which cut supply lines and avenues
of retreat. Iraqi soldiers surrendered in great numbers creating
a need for large confinement facilities in the desert. The
Allied ground assault caused the massive retreat of Iraqi
forces from Kuwait. Military operations ended 28 February
IMAGES IN THE GULF
|The Iraqi military sabotaged oil wells before leaving Kuwait.
Flames and heavy black smoke could be seen for miles. Oil
spilled over the land and into the Persian Gulf killing fish
WAR HIGHWAY OF DEATH
|The lone highway out of Kuwait, jammed with vehicles loaded
with looted items, was bombed, killing and wounding thousands
of Iraqi troops and civilians. Vehicles of every description
were destroyed along the “Highway of Death.”
79TH MILITARY POLICE COMPANY (CS)
|The 79th Military Police Company of Rochester, Minnesota,
was activated in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert
Storm and Desert Calm. The 158-member unit, including twenty-five
females, served in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq from 27
November 1990 through 8 May 1991.
407TH CIVIL AFFAIRS COMPANY
|The 407th Army Reserve Unit based in Winona, Minnesota,
included members from Southeast Minnesota. The unit was activated
27 December 1990 through 3 May 1991 to serve in the Gulf War.
Their mission was to arrange for shelter, transportation,
food, medicine, water and other needs for Iraqi civilians.
|Mayo’s commitment to the military began with the Civil
War when William W. Mayo was named examining surgeon for the
enrollment board for the First Minnesota District. He served
from April 1863 until February 1865.
Charles and Will Mayo served on the Medical Board For National
Defense. In 1916 the board, working through the Red Cross,
organized 50 base hospitals. One was organized through the
University of Minnesota with financial support and staff from
the Mayo Clinic.
In 1928, the Mayo Clinic Plummer Building was dedicated with
the 23-bell carillon dedicated to the American soldier.
In 1934, the American Legion recognized W. J. and C. H. Mayo
for "distinguished service to our sick and disabled comrades
and to suffering humanity." President Franklin D. Roosevelt
presented a plaque to the brothers at Soldiers Field Memorial
Park on 8 August 1934.
Mayo research on oxygen requirements in humans, the development
of the oxygen mask and an antigravity suit enabled high altitude
flying. President Roosevelt recognized Mayo's efforts by presenting
them with the highest U.S. aviation award in 1940.
In 1944, two Mayo Medical Units served in the Pacific Theater
until the end of World War II.