Facts About The WAVES and SPARS

Facts About The WAVES and SPARS

Never in history has there been such an urgent need for American women to serve their country. This is total war — a war in which every woman and every man must play a part. There are essential service jobs that must be filled at home — man-size, full-time jobs in which you, as a member of the WAVES or SPARS, can serve your country and release men of the Navy and Coast Guard to fight at sea. How you can do it is explained in this leaflet.

What are the Waves and Spars?

The WAVES is an organization of women whose job is to replace Navy men at shore stations. The SPARS is an organization of women whose job is to replace Coast Guard men at shore stations.

As a member of the WAVES or SPARS, you wear the same Navy blue, win the same ratings and earn the same pay as America's finest fighting men.

And you'll hold the same shore jobs that men now fill. At Navy and Coast Guard bases throughout the continental United States, WAVES and SPARS are needed to fill positions in radio, communications, storekeeping . . . in mechanics and aviation groundwork .. . in offices and other special fields.

There are important positions in the WAVES and SPARS for women with experience in practically every occupation. Have you worked in an office as a typist, secretary, operator of business machines, filing clerk, or bookkeeper? Have you sold merchandise or checked stock in a store? Do you know anything about radio, telegraphy, photography? Did you ever work in a library, serve at an information desk or telephone switchboard, do tailoring or sewing? Have you a mechanical "bent"? If so, your knowledge and experience will be valuable to the Navy. And it will help you obtain rapid promotion and better pay.

On the other hand, suppose you have no special experience. There is a place for you, too, in the Navy. If you can meet physical and educational requirements, Navy training will take care of the rest and fit you in a few months for the post where you will be of greatest service to your country and yourself.

Where will you serve?

After being sworn in and ordered to active duty as an enlisted WAVE or SPAR, you will go first—at government expense—to one of the training schools. These are located at colleges in every part of the country. The school to which you are assigned depends on the type of job you are being trained in. The training period averages four months.

After your training, you will be assigned to duty where you are most needed—with the exception that you will not be asked to serve outside of the continental United States. Among the possibilities are Miami, San Diego, Norfolk, Washington, D. C., the Navy Yard at Boston, the airbases at Corpus Christi or Jacksonville, or any other Naval or Coast Guard establishment where a well-trained woman can replace a man.

You will not select the base where you will be stationed, but your request for service in a particular place will be given consideration as long as it does not conflict with the needs of the Navy or Coast Guard.


Your living and eating quarters will depend upon the location at which you are stationed. In some places, you may live in barracks especially built for the purpose. In towns where there are many WAVES or SPARS, they will probably be housed in groups. At other places, you may arrange for your own quarters. In this case, you will be given an extra allowance to pay for your food and rooms.

Pay up to $126 monthly—plus allowances

Many women now earn as much in the WAVES and SPARS as they ever did in civilian jobs. You will enlist as Apprentice Seaman at $50 a month. And that money is just part of your income — because, in addition, all your living expenses are paid. You'll get good food, comfortable quarters, the finest medical and dental care—all free. Where government facilities are not available, you will receive, in addition to your pay, subsistence and quarters allowances totaling $2.75 a day.

On top of that, you get $200 worth of uniforms free—trim, Navy blue uniforms designed by the famous stylist Mainbocher to flatter every figure. Hat, jacket, insignia, shirt, tie, skirt, bag, gloves, coat —"everything that shows" is provided to you, plus a credit of about $40 for any other clothing you may need.

Also, you will be entitled to allowances for your dependents. You can buy life insurance at low government rates. You will get the privileges of free mail, reduced rates on transportation, complimentary movie and theatre tickets where granted. In the WAVES and SPARS, there is a chance to qualify for promotion, and a raise in pay accompany each advancement in rating.

Can you meet these requirements?

  • TERM OF ENLISTMENT — For the duration, plus six months.
  • CITIZENSHIP — You must be a native-born American. Or if you are not native-born, you or your parents must have naturalization papers.
  • AGE — You must be at least 20 years old and not yet have reached your 36th birthday. If under 21, you must have the written consent of your parents or guardian.
  • MARRIAGE — A WAVE may not marry, or be married to, a man in the Navy. A SPAR may not marry, or be married to, a man in the Coast Guard. In case of such marriage, she must either resign or be discharged.
  • DEPENDENTS — Women with children under 18 will not be accepted.
  • CHARACTER — When you enlist, you will be asked to furnish three references.
  • EDUCATION—You must have had at least two years of high school or business school.
  • EXPERIENCE—You will be asked to submit a record of your occupation since leaving school.
  • PHYSICAL — You must pass a Navy physical examination to show that you are in sound health.
  • HEIGHT — You must be at least 5 feet.
  • WEIGHT—You must weigh at least 95 pounds.
  • EYES — Your vision must be not less than 6/20 in the worst eye, with binocular vision (two eyes) not less than 12/20. Each eye must be correctable with glasses to 20/20. Note: 12/20 vision means that you can read at 12 feet what perfect eyes can read at 20.
  • HEARING — You must be able to distinguish whispered words at 15 feet.
  • TEETH — Natural teeth must be in sound condition, or you must have a satisfactory replacement.

How to apply for the Waves or Spars

  1. First, go in person or write to the nearest Navy Recruiting Station (there is one in nearly every town) and ask for WAVE or SPAR application blanks. Or, if more convenient, you may go or write to the nearest Office of Naval Officer Procurement (located in 34 leading cities).
  2. When you apply, be sure to give the following information:
    Your age and date of birth.
    Your education.
    Your marital status —married, unmarried, widowed, divorced.
    If you have any children, how many and the age of each.
    If you are married, your husband's occupation.
  3. If you appear to qualify based on the information you give, you will receive an official application blank and other necessary papers. Fill in all the information requested about your qualifications, get your three character references, your family doctor's statement of your physical condition, birth or baptismal certificate, marriage or divorce papers, if any, and a transcript of your education and occupational record. Then return all documents to the office from which you secured them.
  4. If your application is accepted, you will be sent — with transportation paid — to the nearest Office of Naval Officer Procurement for an interview, aptitude test and your Navy physical examination. If you pass these successfully, you will be sworn in—ready to serve your country shoulder to shoulder with the men of the Navy. If you fail, transportation expenses will be paid to your home.

NMI-34990--2.11.43 7 M

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