The city of New Orleans dedicated the first United States monument of a woman in service uniform: “Molly Marine” on 10Nov, 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. She proudly stands for endurance, the book she holds records our history, the binoculars allow her to see into the future and she looks up steadfast facing all that comes her way. Molly has become a symbol of Esprit de Corps for all women Marines. Before graduation from boot camp, the recruits are asked to name one fellow recruit within their platoon who best exemplifies being a Marine. Here, we celebrate our newest sisters.
PFC Rebekah I. Park
P Co, Plt 4006
26 February 2014
JJ DID TIE BUCKLE. Before recruit training, I remember glancing over what was called a “diddy” for 14 leadership traits. The knowledge immediately caught my eye because developing as a leader was one of the many reasons why I decided to join the Marine Corps. To be Molly Marine of a platoon means that those lay deeply embedded inside the core of one’s thinking and actions; a Molly Marine is a leader.
A Molly Marine is unselfish—she puts others before herself. She serves her sisters without hesitation and without expecting something in return. She is humble and does not wait for praise. By helping others push past their limits, the Molly Marine extends the ability of the platoon. That in turn boosts the platoon’s morale and general bond between recruits.
As a fresh civilian on the island, I initially had to face how naturally selfish I was. I did not want to take the risk of not making a count down by helping my rack-mate with her locker, I did not want to give up my free time to help others with their hair, if I got my foot locker down for scuzzing, the other recruits should too. However, a couple days on the island revealed that only worrying about myself was not getting anybody anywhere. When the Drill Instructors kept stressing teamwork and the fact that a platoon is only strong as its weakest link, I remembered the leadership trait, unselfishness.
Internalizing that first leadership trait was the beginning of a domino effect of other leadership traits and the core values, Honor, Courage, and Commitment. This included small tasks such as taking the initiative to seek out those with constantly disheveled hair, counseling a recruit who is unsure of their ability to make it through training, being dependable when requesting permission to make a head call, and exuding enthusiasm during PT. All of this resulted in the creation of some sort of personal bond with each recruit in the platoon. It was not easy at first to stay true to the leadership traits and the core values, but these changes are what led to the development of a Molly Marine.
Another aspect of being a Molly Marine is the ability to be led. The civilian life focuses so much on individuality that one literally faces culture shock when a whole platoon has to move, sleep, eat, and breathe together. When recruits are joined in one platoon, they usually fight over who gets to direct others what to do instead of focusing on an appointed recruit, like the guide. After the first few rounds of recruits fighting to be the last one to say, “lock it up”, I decided that taking that order and being led was in actuality leading by example. Moreover, the ability to be led plays a key role in increasing one’s discipline.
The Molly Marine is a product of the carefully planned curriculum of recruit training and the dedication of the Drill Instructors. Everything I have learned and changed into is a result of the countless hours these role models put into their passion. They never gave up on this Molly Marine, even during the times she doubted herself. My Drill Instructors are the epitome of Honor, Courage, and Commitment and all the leadership traits that made me into the Molly Marine I am today.
I am honored to be chosen as platoon 4006’s Molly Marine. Being awarded as Molly Marine shows that I have grown closer to the leader and Marine I hope to be one day. It shows that I have been passionate about my transformation from a regular civilian into someone unselfish enough to serve her country. Being platoon 4006’s Molly Marine is a testimony of how much I care about my fellow recruits and my love for the Corps.