The city of New Orleans dedicated the first United States monument of a woman in service uniform: “Molly Marine” November 10, 1943. A local recruiter commissioned the statue to help recruit women during World War II. For female Marines around the world, Molly has come to represent the countless significant contributions women have made to the Corps. Molly has become a symbol of esprit de corps for all women Marines. Just before graduation from boot camp, the female recruits are asked to name one woman within their platoon who best exemplifies esprit de corps. Here, we celebrate two of our newest sisters, PFCs Jessica M. Winkowski and Amelia J. Williams who’ve been honored with the additional title Molly Marine.
PFC Amelia J. Williams, Bremerton, WA, Plt 4018, P Company
“The Marine Corps did not only catch my eye as an alternative to college, but a way I could have an impact in this country and around the world. Marines are known for their integrity, self-sacrifice, and most of all their Honor, Courage and Commitment to God, Corps and country. My parents have instilled a hunger in me to be more than ordinary, but to be extraordinary for the sake of others, not myself. With the principles my mother and father taught me and what I have seen and learned about the Corps, I knew joining America’s number one fighting force would be nothing but beneficial.
Being chosen as “Molly Marine” is very humbling. I know my faults and weaknesses as a recruit and when I was chosen for a title such as Molly Marine it only makes me want to excel so that my weaknesses become virtually nonexistent. Trying hard and putting forth one hundred percent effort is what I know is right and doing what is right is what I will strive to accomplish in training and in the fleet. My fellow recruits have been more than helpful and make it worthwhile to sacrifice time and endure pain for our platoon’s sake. Being chosen for this title, I can only thank my fellow recruits for honoring me.
‘Molly’ to me is a Marine that knows themselves to such an extent that they look for self-improvement which inspires a confidence that fosters good leadership skills and teamwork abilities. Molly Marines should exemplify a pride of professionalism that gives credibility to their actions and words. What they say and do can and will be trusted because of consistent behavior. My sister shared a quote with me that I think a Marine should apply to be a Molly Marine. “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” I believe every Marine when given responsibility and authority, should be able to not take advantage of or see themselves as a superior to their subordinates. They should understand who they are, and knowingly or unknowingly, act as that model for their fellow Marines to resemble. I want to be this kind of Molly Marine that people can look up to.”
PFC Jessica M. Winkowski, Brookfield, WI, Plt 4019, P Company
“Coated and standing strong after weathering many of New Orleans storms, the Molly Marine monument has been representing the idea of a female Marine since the establishment of the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve in 1943. When she was first displayed her primary purpose was to promote women to join the Marine Corps and support the many American men fighting in World War II. Like a true Marine she accomplished the mission. During World War II 23,000 women were motivated to enlist as well as commissioned into the Marine Corps to defend America. As mechanics, radio operators, photographers, map makers and welders the effort of this fighting force of brave women were responsible for being the backbone of the 6th Marine division during World War II.
To me a Molly Marine is a woman who has honor, courage and commitment as the bedrock of her value belief system. When she is instructed to follow orders she instantly obeys them. Like many war hero’s, a Molly Marine has the mental and physical courage to lead when duty calls. She leads from the front in an unwavering and selfless manner. She respects those above her and below her in rank. Without a doubt she puts service before self always, Semper Fidelis. The Molly Marine knows herself, knows her Marine Corps, and constantly tries to better herself as well as others around her for her Marine Corps. The Molly Marine is a classy lady who wins hearts and minds, or put bullets in them. After all, every Marine is a rifleman.
When I stepped off the white bus and on to the historical yellow footprints of Parris Island, where many women have gone before me, it was never a part of my plan to be selected as Molly Marine by my platoon. I just wanted to be a great recruit, earn the Eagle Globe and Anchor and become a great United States Marine. I kept my ears open throughout recruit training while being trained by my drill instructors on what it means to be a Marine. It didn’t take me long to find out that my platoon was being trained by the most outstanding Marines on Parris Island who happen to be all Females, all Molly Marines. As my platoon comes closer to the final test of earning the title of Marine, I will continue to train and emulate Series 4018 Molly Marines that have inspired me such as my Chief Drill Instructor, Senior Drill Instructor and of course my Drill Instructors. I will continue to influence and strive to be that Molly Marine that my platoon sees me as. It is certainly not easy at times, but nothing about the Marine Corps is ever easy. After all, they didn’t promise me a rose garden.