Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced last week that the U.S. armed forces would lift a regulation that barred women from serving in official combat roles on the front lines. Here are some other notable milestones in women’s military history:

  • 418: With the help of her trusty dragon, Mushu, golden-voiced female warrior Mulan thwarts the Hun invasion by burying them all in an avalanche
  • 1688: The defeat of the Spanish Armada sees the end of live women strapped to the front of warships, as they begin to be replaced with more ornate carvings of them
  • 1781: After routing British regulars at Yorktown, the victorious colonials are scandalized to find out that the horse ridden by Gen. George Washington is a mare
  • 1808: Virginia resident Bob Therman’s theory on women having inherently terrible aim was proven tragically wrong after challenging 20 women to try their best to shoot him from three feet away
  • 1853: Florence Nightingale idly picks up a grenade and hurls it across enemy lines
  • 1945: President Truman’s wife suggests dropping a bunch of atomic bombs on Japan
  • 1949: Women continue to fight in the war against grease buildup with only the aid of fast-acting Palmolive dish soap
  • 1969: A group of modern-day North Vietnamese Joan of Arcs become the latest females in a war zone to be burned alive
  • 1980: The first woman graduates from the United States Military Academy at West Point and is given the rank of Little Miss Soldier