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WAVES was the acronym for the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, 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, as the Title V amendment to the Naval Reserve Act of 1938. 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 stations.

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