When women began serving in the military as early as the 1900s, their early roles were in clerical positions, miles away from any action on the ground.
Now, women have taken on a much more active role in service, with some even recently graduating from the elite Army Ranger School.
IJ.com wanted to know just how badass female veterans really are. Here's what they told us:
1. USMC Lance Corporal Chloe Mondesir:
"At times we would do physical training and I am only 5 foot 2. I am always the smallest and I always got paired up with some huge guy.
So we are doing martial arts training and the 5 foot 2 girl was paired up with someone who was about 6 foot 3. And everyone was like she is a girl and she is tiny, she shouldn’t have to fight this guy.
We were training with plastic knives. And when the trainer blew the whistle I had the 6 foot 3 guy's throat slit within seconds."
2. U.S. Army Captain Lindsay Lowery:
"When deployed, I was at Camp Bucca. I was in charge of the compound that held the most vile Muslim extremists.
Sometimes we would raid the compound unannounced to search for weapons because they wanted to kill us. They hated me especially, an American woman.
My soldiers wanted me to lead a raid as a way to assert my authority. So late one night, we suited up in ballistic gear, and prepared to raid one of the tents.
There was miscommunication before the raid and when I arrived in the tent, I realized that I was completely alone.
I could've run out scared (which I was internally panicking) or act like I knew my sh*t, and continue with the mission. I went up right up to the first detainee I saw, and said I needed to speak to the chief. (Each compound had a chief that was in charge.) I was probably in there for about 30 seconds...then the rest of my raid team comes barreling in.
They are white as ghosts, and their eyes are as big as saucers. They couldn't believe what just happened. I earned quite a reputation for myself from that experience. I wasn't f*cked with after that by the detainees."
3. U.S. Army Sergeant Jena Latuszek:
"When I was involved with a Female Engagement Team, we were attached to a Marine infantry unit and the Marines hated us. 1) we were females 2) we were Army, so they really, really hated us.
I ran a Marine PFT (Physical Fitness Test) with them and ended up beating all the guys in the 3 mile run. They didn't realize I was a cross country stud in high school and would give us s*it for having to only run two miles for the Army PFT.
I beat all of them with an under 18 minute run. I can't remember the exact time but it was 17 minutes and some change. I was also able to do 12 pull ups back then, which also shut them up."
4. U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Mylee Cardenas:
"The most badass thing that I was able to do was be a military instructor as well as a single mom. In 2009, I was told a single mom shouldn’t be being a military instructor and I would be done the minute my kid becomes a problem.
My job was to train soldiers every waking second of the day. My daughter would go from being at the office with me early in the morning and then be at school all day, After school, she would come back to the office with me until I could leave. This went on for four years.
Then, when I came home from Afghanistan in 2011 from serving with Special Operations Forces, I went through stage 3 breast cancer.
So being able to handle my job, raise a kid and beat breast cancer would definitely be my most badass moments."