When Gen. John Pershing was setting up the infrastructure of the American Expeditionary Force in France it was determined that they needed women to operate the switchboards, just as was the case back home. These operators had to be fluent in French and English.
The government issued a contract to Western Electric and about 7,600 women applied. The company selected and trained them; the first group of 100 arrived in March 1918 and eventually 223 ‘Hello Girls’ served in France. However, their non-military status meant that they were denied recognition as veterans until 1977, long after it made any difference to most. You can read more about ‘The Hello Girls’ by clicking here or here.