Jango - Junior Army Navy Guild Organization
Mostly now remembered as a "Nurse's Aide" organization, JANGO was so much more. Born in March 1942, the early days of World War II, JANGO issued a call out to ELIGIBLE wives, daughters, sister or granddaughters of officers in the Army or Navy, or in the reserves (whose commission was equal to or above that of a 2nd lieutenant or ensign.)
Their mission? " ... to utilize the energies of young women and girls of service families toward promoting the well-being of army and navy men and their families." (Chicago Tribune 9.20.1943)
At first, the age of the volunteers were divided into two categories, Junior (14-21) and Seniors (over 21). The "J" in their name stands for Junior Officers - not Junior age group. The age range changed over the years.
Applicants would have to work 100 hours a year on approved projects to be entitled to wear the JANGO pin, and then 100 hours a year after that to maintain membership. Working
in the medical setting required the uniform (shown right).
JANGOs were not only "nurses aides" during the early War-Emergency period, they also filled other needs, such as typists/teletypists, telephone operators, served in the canteens, worked at information desks or nourishments bars, worked in daycare centers, waitresses in military clubs, air precaution services (watching the skies for enemy planes), counterespionage (for JANGOs over 24 - including cryptography, coding, decoding), office work, mechanics, automobile service, garden and farm work, playground work, etc. The list of needs was endless.
JANGO Nurse's Aide
pinafore and blouse
This classic LIFE magazine, showing a JANGO being "capped" is how most people remember JANGO.
Helen Almy, 18 was being capped by Mrs. Catherin Meier, Washington DC, 1943
Post war, the JANGO program slowly changed and adjusted to modern life. The focus changed solely to girls 21 years old and younger. Also, gone were the War Emergency jobs, and it became mostly the nurse's aide position. Who was considered ELIGIBLE also relaxed. Wives and daughters of civilian appointed by the US President could join, as well as those related to warrant officers and women officers.
JANGO uniform patch
In 1958 JANGO began offering scholarships to qualified daughters of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine and Coast Guard officers. This scholarship was not limited to "regular college or university schooling" but included trade education and secretarial schooling.
1978 was the last time a training course of JANGO nurse's aides can be found in newspapers. After completing 24 hours of classroom study and 76 hours "on the floor," young MEN or women of active, retired or deceased officers, none older than 21, would receive their cap and pin upon graduation. It did not mention if the men would be required to wear the JANGO cap.
The last mention of a JANGO training course found in the newspapers. 1978