In the upcoming weeks we will go over the history of the Women Marines Association. The book was compiled by the WMA National Historian, Nancy Wilt in honor of the 50th anniversary of our Association in Denver in 2010.
We start with a greeting written by Col Julia Hamblet
Greeting from Colonel Julia E. Hamblet, USMC, (Ret)
“It has been a long walk. In 1943, we were women Marines. We trod a long walk…at times a rocky path…and became Marines. No longer were there women companies, women promotion rosters, and long lists of occupation fields restricted to women. Each step along the way we had to demonstrate again that we were worthy of the title “Marine”…and we did it.
WMA has been a great help in keeping alive the history of what we women have done. It encouraged women entering the Corps to set and reach higher goals, furthering the acceptance and utilization of women in the Marine Corps. Through its local chapters, WMA has given women in the Marine Corps, active and retired, a home port.”
Congratulations WMA, on your 50th Anniversary
Colonel Julia E. Hamblet, USMC (Ret)
Julia E. Hamblet was among the first women to join the Marine Corps in 1943, was the first woman recruited in Washington D.C. and she was in the first Officer Candidate School graduating class at Mt Holyoke College. Her professional standards, leadership skills and high performance level were recognized while she was assigned to the Women Marine Reserve Schools at Camp Lejeune.
At the end of the war, Major Hamblet was on terminal leave in London when by telegram the Commandant asked her to accept the position of Director of Women Marines. Colonel Hamblet served as Director of Women Marines twice from 1946-1948 and from 1953-1959. Colonel Hamblet served longer than any other did in that capacity. The Colonel was present when the Women’s Integrated Service Act was signed making women a permanent part of the U.S. military, and again with President Johnson when he signed the Equal Promotion Act into law.
Colonel Hamblet lives in Williamsburg, Virginia. The Colonel willingly gives of her time and knowledge by working with the Women of the Corps Collection.