Establishment of Women's Reserve, Public Law 689, H.R. 6807, 30
July 1942 [Chapter 538]
To expedite the war effort by releasing
officers and men for duty at sea and their replacement by women in the
shore establishment of the Navy, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled, That the Naval Reserve Act of
1938, as amended, is further amended by adding after section 401
thereof an additional title as follows:
TITLE V--WOMEN'S RESERVE
"SEC. 501. A Women's Reserve is hereby established which shall
be a branch of the Naval Reserve and shall be administered under the
same provisions in all respects (except as may be necessary to adapt
said provisions to the Women's Reserve, or as specifically provided
herein) as those contained in this Act or which may hereafter be
enacted with respect to the Volunteer Reserve.
"SEC. 502. Members of the Women's Reserve may be commissioned
or enlisted in such appropriate ranks and ratings, corresponding to
those of the Regular Navy, as may be prescribed by the Secretary of
the Navy: Provided, That there shall not be more than one
officer in the grade of lieutenant commander; nor more than
thirty-five officers in the grade of lieutenant; and that the number
of officers in the grade of lieutenant (junior grade) shall not exceed
35 per centum of the total number of commissioned officers: And
provided further, That military authority of officers commissioned
under the provisions of this Act may be exercised over women of the
Reserve only and is limited to the administration of the Women's
"SEC. 503. The Reserve established by this title shall be
composed of members who have attained the age of twenty years.
"SEC. 504. Members of the Women's Reserve shall be restricted
to the performance of shore duty within the continental United States
only and shall not be assigned to duty on board vessels of the Navy or
in combat aircraft.
"SEC. 505. Members of the Women's Reserve shall not be used to
replace civil-service personnel employed in the Naval Establishment,
but shall be composed of women trained and qualified for duty in the
shore establishment of the Navy to release male officers and enlisted
men of the naval service for duty at sea.
"SEC. 506. The benefits provided by section 4 of the Act
approved August 27, 1940 (Public, Numbered 775, Seventy-sixth
Congress), and by the Act approved March 17, 1941 (Public Law Numbered
16, Seventy-seventh Congress), shall not be applicable to members of
the Women's Reserve who suffer disability or death in line of duty
from disease or injury while employed on active duty: Provided,
That if any member of the Women's Reserve suffers disability or death
from disease or injury incurred in line of duty while employed on
active duty, she or her beneficiaries shall be entitled to all the
benefits prescribed by law for civil employees of the United States
who are physically injured or who die as a result thereof.
"SEC. 507. The Secretary of the Navy shall fix the money value
of the articles of uniform and equipment which enlisted members of the
Women's Reserve are required to have upon their first reporting for
active duty: Provided, That he may authorize such articles of
uniform and equipment, or parts thereof, to be issued in kind, or, in
lieu thereof, that payment in cash of the money value fixed in
accordance with the foregoing, not to exceed $200, be made to such
members so ordered to active duty, for the purchase of such articles
of uniform and equipment.
"SEC. 508. The authority conferred by this Act for
appointments and enlistments in the Women's Reserve shall be effective
during the present war and for six months thereafter, or until such
earlier time as the Congress by concurrent resolution or the President
by proclamation may designate."
Approved, July 30, 1942.
Source: United States Statutes at Large Containing the Laws
and Concurrent Resolutions Enacted During the Second Session of the
Seventy-Seventh Congress of the United States of America 1942 and
Treaties, International Agreements Other than Treaties, and
Proclamations. vol. 56, pt.1. Washington: Government Printing
Office, 1943. pp. 730-31.