Initially recruited from the volunteers of the Women's Emergency Signalling Corps, by the end of the war more than 3,000 women had served in the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS).

The largest of the women's services, the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) had about 27,000 enlisted by the end of the war. Members were posted to bases throughout Australia, but were never permitted to serve overseas, or in combat roles.

Formed on 13 August 1941 by the War Cabinet, the Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS) was designed to ‘release men from certain military duties for employment in fighting units’.