Ecaterina Teodoroiu (1894-1917) was a Romanian soldier who fought against German forces during the First World War.
Teodoroiu spent her teenage years as a member of the Romanian Scouts and studied at the Girl's School in Bucharest. She planned to become a school teacher, however when Romania entered World War I on the Allied side in 1916 she instead decided to serve as a nurse with the Scouts. Inspired by the patriotism of the wounded soldiers she treated and the death of her brother in action, she decided to enlist as a soldier.
Although she had to apply several times before the Romanian army eventually accepted her, Teodoroiu saw combat in October 1916 at the first Battle of Jiu as part of General Ion Dragalina's 1st Army. Some accounts say that Teodoroiu played a key part in this battle by rallying soldiers defending a bridge. Despite initially repulsing the German offensive, the 1st Army was forced back and during the retreat Teodoroiu was captured. However she managed to escape, killing at least two German soldiers in the process while sustaining only a leg wound in return.
She continued to serve in the army, however in November 1916 she was seriously wounded by a mortar strike and had to be hospitalised. She received the Military Virtue Medal, 1st Class, for her bravery and on her return to duty was promoted to Sublocotenent (Second Lieutenant) and given command of a 25-man platoon.
Teodoroiu was killed on September 3rd 1917, during the the Battle of Mărășești, the last battle fought between Romania and Germany in the war. She was hit in the chest by a burst of machine gun fire as she led her platoon against a unit of entrenched Germans. Her last words as she died were to call out "Forward, men, I'm still with you!".
Teodoroiu was buried in Târgu Jiu where her grave is honored by a monument. She is regarded as a heroine of Romania.