Leave a comment

Marine Corps Women’s Reserve Band 75th Anniversary Celebration

Celebrating 75th Anniversary of Marine Corps Women’s Reserve Band

by Master Sgt. Amanda Simmons
At 2 p.m., March 11, 2018, the United States Marine Band will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve (MCWR) Band during a concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center in Alexandria, Va. The MCWR Band was formed under the supervision of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band and was active from 1943-45. It was one of eight all-female military bands, and the last to be formed. The concert will be curated by Dr. Jill Sullivan, author of “Bands of Sisters: U.S. Women’s Military Bands during World War II” and conducted by Major Michelle A. Rakers, the Marine Band’s first female assistant director and first female commissioned officer. The concert will stream live here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qFg3yqi5SY
Leave a comment

WR’s Separation

WR’s Separated 

Headquarters Directive Writes End After Nearly Three Years at MCB

By PFC. Paul E. Bragdon

Glad Tidings

GLAD TIDINGS. Cpl June Roth, acting first sergeant of the Base WR Bn., stamps out the glad tidings of discharge for 140 enlisted women who will be separated next week, regardless of points, in accordance with a directive from Washington. (Official USMC photo by Corp. Hugh Killmeyer)

With few exceptions, all WR’s at MCB will be off this compound by next Wednesday, a bulletin from Marine Corps Headquarters, Washington, revealed this week, in a sweeping move which came as a surprise to most Base observers.

The official pronouncement provides that most enlisted women will be separated by May 15, regardless of points, except those with certain clerical warrants who signify a willingness to remain in the Corps until Sept. 1, 1946. Personnel in the latter category will be transferred either to Washington, D. C, or to San Francisco, it was disclosed. Indications were that only a handful of WR’s will remain on this station after the deadline. These include women assigned to the Rehabilitation Office, 11th Naval District, the Military Reservation Bureau, San Diego, Paymaster personnel, and several officers assigned to specialized rields here. OFFICERS’ MOVE KNOWN The move followed widespread speculation in regard to the fate of the battalion this month, as the line officers of the organization had previously been scheduled for discharge or transfer next week. IstLt. Janice Hale, who has commanded the much- publicized women’s unit here since the departure of Maj. Dorothy Miller two months ago, will be transferred to Henderson Hall, Washington, D. C, she disclosed. Her immediate subordinates, 2dLts. Mary Elizabeth Cook and Julia Henrikson, are to be put on the inactive list next week, according to high Base officials. Uutimate fate of the WR barracks, mess, and recreation facilities was not determined immediately. HERE THIRTY MONTHS The first “girls in forest green” arrived at MCB —50 strong —in early November, 1943. The battalion reached its peak strength Continue Reading »

Leave a comment

Back to Civilian Life 1946

Marine Corps Chevron, Volume 5, Number 8, 7 March 1946

Guide to Reconversion: Magazine Offers Practical Advice to WR’s

WR’s expecting discharge In the near future may find the following excerpts of special value as a guide to post-service employment. “Job News,” a bulletin prepared by the Jobs and Future Department of “Mademoiselle,” New York fashion magazine, advises: A JOB CAMPAIGN Keep your objectives well in mind and don’t let slow reconversion panic you into making snap decisions about your education or your career. That is, if your sights are set on a profession—social work, law, journalism—for which you should have at least a B.A.—don’t grab greedily at a job as air-line stewardess because travel is so broadening. Don’t try to solve the unemployment problem by marking time shopping around for interesting courses, just to get your moneys worth out of the educational provisions of the GI Bill. Better to take an exploratory bottom-rung job now and get your schooling later — when you know where you’re going. Continue Reading »

Leave a comment

Opha May Johnson Project

Opha May Johnson Project

OMJP pic

In 1918, Opha May Johnson was the first of 300 plus women who showed up to take one of billets left open as our men went to war. She even typed up her own enlistment contract and had to have her husbands permission to join our beloved Corps. She opened the doors that we followed, as the generations that followed and continued to open more doors. Now is the time to honor her memory and her place in Marine Corps history.

OMJ Enlistment

OMJ Data

Continue Reading »

Leave a comment

10th INF Battalion ~ Classification Platoon

Women Marines ~ 10th INF Battalion ~ Classification Platoon 

Honor ~ Courage ~ Commitment

My Story by PFC. Phyllis Silva-Keith (H.D. 1958)

October 2017

In the 1940’s, when, Col. Julia Hamblet, USMCR, penned: “Once a Marine…Always a Marine…Then, now and always,” little did I know, all these years later, that I would still be living out and reflecting on those powerful words.

When I was first “introduced” to the Marine Corps, at age 18, in 1957….and now, reminiscing 60 years later at age 79, I feel an immense gratitude for the experiences and people who were and are so importantly part of my Marine Corps memories.

Before I begin sharing with you, I want to say “Thank you” to my sister Marines then and now. You have my gratitude, respect and admiration for the individual roles each of you has played in providing protection for our country as well as for peoples and places around the world.  May your knowing that you have made a difference in your sister Marine’s lives, and countless others, bring you a sense of peace and accomplishment.  Your example of service and sacrifice continues to shed light upon our paths.

Each of us has our own Marine history and personal stories to tell.

I didn’t serve overseas or in combat nor did I serve the length of time or make the sacrifices that some of you have.  But, we are each and all part of the whole history and success of the Corps.  Sisters and brothers….I salute you one and all.

Thank you for your interest in this “Old Lady Reservist” and what it was like back in “50’s.

Semper Fidelis!

My Story

It was May 1957 and I had just returned home after three semesters of college and secured a job with Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone in Seattle (or “Ma Bell” as we called it then).  At that time, I was trying to envision how I would transition into adult life.

One day, during a work lunch break, I saw one of my co-workers, Margaret Carr, in a Marine Corps uniform.  Our conversation centered on why she was in uniform.  She told me that after work she would be reporting for drill and continuing training classes.  (Our employer was quite supportive of those in the military including Women Marine Reservists.)  Margaret invited me to go along with her to the Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Armory on Lake Union, and I gladly accepted!  (Today the building houses the MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry). Continue Reading »

Leave a comment

High Heeled Boots

High Heeled Boots

Leatherneck Magazine Volume 45, Issue 2 Feb 1962
Author:  Clay Barrow
 WM BootCamp

There are several striking differences between the Women Marines’ boot camp and the men’s

ONE OF THE most widely circulated football stories relates that once when Knute Rockne’s “Fighting Irish” were trailing, he stayed out of the locker room throughout nearly all of the 15-minute half-time. Seconds before his battered team was due to take the field, he thrust his flat face through the door and said, “Oops, excuse me. I thought this was the Notre Dame team.”

His humiliated assassins tore doors off hinges raging out to redeem themselves.

It is this fierce, primeval vanity, which others call pride and we call esprit de corps, that has always been the male Marine’s most priceless asset. As it has been our heritage from our predecessors, it will also be-if we are half the men we claim to be-our legacy to our succesors.

Because esprit has been almost literally pounded into us by acid-tongued, knob-knuckled, frosty-eyed men, we find it unthinkable that the same-perhaps even a deeper-love of Corps can be imbued in dewy-eyed young females through a radically different type of initial training.

Yet Parris Island’s Woman Recruit Training Battalion does precisely that.

What mysterious alchemy transforms a confused, awkward 18-year-old girl into a poised, proud young lady in the short span of nine weeks? How close is the woman’s initial training period patterned after the man’s? The answer to these and other questions can be-found at PI, home of the only WM boot camp in the country.

Continue Reading »

Leave a comment

Women Marines Tackle the NY Jets

The Women Marines Association Tackle the New York Jets!

by Jamie DePaola and StacyAnn Castro

Another Win for Women Marines! A team from the WMA Area 1 Marines scored big with the New York Jets!DSC_0156

The Women Marines Association had the honor of being selected to participate in the Taste of The Jets event in New York City on May 18th.  The Taste of the Jets is a fundraising event that the NY Jets have held the last 13 years to raise funds to support the New York Jets Foundation to tackle hunger.  The attendees enjoyed an evening of mingling with the players, Jets’ Legends, and Flight Crew cheerleaders while sampling delicious cuisine from fantastic NYC restaurants. This year they added a Veteran element and invited the 5 branches of the Military to compete in a celebrity-judged cook off. Each military branch had to put together a team of Veterans, who could cook and present any food item they wanted.   Continue Reading »