(From left) Marine Corps veteran Joyce (Hadley) Malone and her daughter Marine Corps GySgt Patricia D. Malone, Women’s Memorial Foundation, November 2007.
Women’s Memorial Foundation photo
Earning the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor insignia is a rite of passage for every Marine, and Joyce (Hadley) Malone and Patricia D. Malone are proud to be among “The Few, The Proud” who have earned the privilege of wearing the US Marine Corps uniform.
The mother and daughter recorded their oral histories and shared what it means to each of them to have served their country during the Women In Military Service For America Memorial’s 10th Anniversary Celebration in November 2007.
How the Journey Began
The privilege of wearing the Marine Corps insignia is a journey that began for these mother-and-daughter Marines 50 years ago. In 1958, Joyce enlisted in the Marines, less than 10 years after the first African-American woman entered the Marine Corps. Enlistment was a decision that shaped her life, and the life of her daughter, said Joyce, a charter member of the Women’s Memorial.
“It will always be a part of you, that Marine Corps spirit, esprit d’corps,” Joyce said during the pair’s oral history interview. “You always have it because once a Marine, always a Marine … What you get out of the Marine Corps is not given to you, you earn it [and, the] Eagle, Globe, and Anchor is not given to you, believe me.”
Marine Corps Pride
Joyce’s daughter, Marine Corps GySgt Patricia D. Malone, who has been serving since 1993, thought for a second and said, “Just to piggy back on what mother said, it’s definitely earned … You put that uniform on, you catch people looking at you out of the corner of their eye, ‘Oh, she’s a Marine; Oh, he’s a Marine.’ It’s just the way Marines carry themselves—that pride that’s within. They say that pain is weakness leaving the body, so pain has left the body but the pride and that esprit d’corps [are] left there.”
The Malones’ association with the Marine Corps began when then 21-year-old Joyce enlisted while a sophomore at Fayetteville Teachers College (now Fayetteville State University), in Fayetteville, NC. She had been living with her sister, one of her 14 siblings, but when she was faced with the news that she would have to move on to campus, she visited the Marine Corps recruiter instead.
Looking Back 50 Years
Her recruiter took her to Raleigh, NC, for a physical exam, but because the United States was still largely segregated, there were no hotels where she could stay. She remembers that she stayed in a room of a private home. Joyce arrived at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, SC, in March 1958. Her recruit class consisted of 50 women, four of which were minority women. Joyce found basic training very hard but she remembers that all recruits were treated equally and subjected to the same training regimen. “We all lived the same, on the same squad bay. They [the drill instructors] did the same thing to me that they did [to everyone else]. They turned the footlockers over, they tore beds up; they did not give you any type of preferential treatment.”
PFC Joyce (Hadley) Malone’s Woman Recruit Battalion, Platoon 4-A, MCRD Parris Island, SC, April 1958. Photo courtesy of Joyce Malone.
Life off the base was not quite as fair. After graduating from Basic Training… Read more here