Cathy Osten


Cathy Osten



May 17, 2017

Osten Seeks Federal Recognition of Cadet Nurse Corps Veterans

State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) today led the unanimous and bipartisan Senate ‘consent’ passage of a bill that asks Congress to recognize the members of the United States Cadet Nurse Corps as veterans, thereby assuring them access to all of the various veterans benefits available to America’s other fighting men and women.


“I’ve still got cadet corps nurses living in my district who speak with so much pride about their service to their country,” Sen. Osten told the Senate chamber as she explained the purpose of the resolution. “This is the only group of veterans in America who have not been recognized by Congress. I suggest we pass this bill now, and have Congress recognize these women, before we have to recognize them posthumously. It really is an injustice not to have these veterans recognized.”


The United States Cadet Nurse Corps was established by the U.S. Congress on June 15, 1943, and signed into law by president Franklin D. Roosevelt; its purpose was to ensure the country had enough nurses to care for its citizens at home and abroad during World War II. It was a non-discriminatory program that allowed Native Americans, African Americans, and relocated Japanese Americans to participate The program was open to all women between the ages of 17 and 35, in good health, who had graduated from an accredited high school. Successful applicants were eligible for a government subsidy, paying for tuition, books, uniforms, and a stipend. In exchange, they were required to pledge to actively serve in essential civilian or federal government services for the duration of World War II.


The language of the resolution is as follows:




Resolved by this Assembly:


WHEREAS, after the United States entered World War II, the demand for nurses increased dramatically, outstripping supply and creating a nursing shortage; and


WHEREAS, in order to alleviate this critical shortage, a plan was conceived to accelerate the training of nursing students and allow such nursing students to serve during such training; and


WHEREAS, on March 29, 1943, Congresswoman Frances P. Bolton of Ohio introduced a bill in the United States House of Representatives to establish a special government program to facilitate the training of nurses, which bill was passed unanimously by both chambers of Congress, was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 15, 1943, and became effective as Public Law 74 on July 1, 1943; and


WHEREAS, the Bolton Act of 1943 created the Cadet Nurse Corps to be administered by the United States Public Health Service and supervised by the Division of Nurse Education, which division reported to the Surgeon General of the United States; and


WHEREAS, over one thousand nursing schools throughout the United States joined the Cadet Nurse program during its existence, facilitating the training of over 125,000 nurses during World War II and greatly increasing the wartime supply of nurses and care for American citizens on both the home and war fronts; and


WHEREAS, by replacing graduate nurses who had already entered into active duty in the armed forces of the United States, the Cadet Nurse Corps prevented the collapse of nursing care in hospitals throughout the United States, and service members returned from war to a strong health care system and received necessary and quality care from Cadet Nurses; and


WHEREAS, having demonstrated their skill, devotion and patriotism, members of the United States Cadet Nurse Corps deserve the utmost admiration and appreciation of the nation; and


WHEREAS, a former member of the Cadet Nurse Corps is not included in the United States government’s definition of what constitutes a “veteran”, and accordingly such former member is not eligible to receive certain veterans’ benefits administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and other federal agencies; and


WHEREAS, recognizing former members of the Cadet Nurse Corps as veterans would be an appropriate and warranted gesture of commendation and gratitude to women whose service and dedication to their communities and to their nation deserves such a gesture.


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Connecticut General Assembly hereby petitions the United States Congress to amend federal law to recognize as veterans those women who served honorably during World War II as members of the Cadet Nurse Corps.