“Dear Boss” is a 1952 United States Navy recruitment film that tells the dramatized story of a small town girl who joins the United States Naval Reserve Women’s Reserve (WAVES) and, in a letter to her former boss, tells of her experiences in boot camp and on her first assignment. The “nonclassified” film opens to the strains of “Anchors Away” and WAVES marching in formation before returning to their barracks and the letter-writing begins. Her old boss laments to her successor on why she would ever choose the Navy over his cantankerous ways and life as a secretary, and how one day “she saw one of those Navy recruiting posters” and decided to enlist. We watch her meeting with a recruiter at mark 05:30 who explains that her role in the navy is as important as the Chief of Naval Operations. We watch her make her way through the recruits’ training center and meeting her “shipmates” at mark 07:23 before learning how to march and properly wear a uniform. A haircut, physical exams, and more marching follows, as does “Reveille” (at mark 11:50), lessons in US Navy history, calisthenics … and ironing. The WAVES are shown attending a dance with sailors at mark 14:54 and visiting with family at mark 15:37. The ladies soon get their duty station assignments and graduate basic training at mark 19:15. The film closes with the WAVES at their new assignments, from personnel assignments and medical corpsmen school to Naval Air Stations.
The United States Naval Reserve (Women's Reserve), better known under the acronym WAVES for Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, was the World War II women's branch of the United States Naval Reserve. It was established on 21 July 1942 by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by the president on 30 July 1942. This authorized the U.S. Navy to accept women into the Naval Reserve as commissioned officers and at the enlisted level, effective for the duration of the war plus six months. The purpose of the law was to release officers and men for sea duty and replace them with women in shore activities. Mildred H. McAfee became the first director of the WAVES.
WAVES served at 900 shore stations in the United States, to include Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico and many entered fields previously held by men. As general line officers, Officer WAVES initially served in administrative and support roles, although many later served as attorneys (the Navy's JAG Corps was not established until 1967) and engineers. Many enlisted women became aviation mechanics, aerographers, air traffic controllers, parachute riggers, hospital corpsmen and radiomen, but most worked in the administrative/clerical and supply fields such as yeomen, personnelmen, disbursing clerks and storekeepers. The WAVES' peak strength was 86,291 members.
The WAVES left behind a legacy of accomplishment. Upon demobilization, accolades came from many sources. The Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal, Fleet Admiral Ernest King, and Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz all commended the WAVES for their contributions to the war effort.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com