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 Marines
PFC Serena F. Ioane
N Co, Plt 4017
21 May 2014
Parris Island is not for the weak of heart. The challenges of recruit training are many. For most, it is unlike any environment they have ever encountered. Transitioning from a civilian to a recruit is a grueling process. As the challenges are faced, recruits find comfort in the simple things like chow, sleep, and their fellow sisters who share a common experience. When help is needed, some recruits are willing and able to provide assistance. In times of distress, few recruits stand out among the rest. At the end of the day, there is at least one recruit trusted to support the platoon by any means necessary. This one recruit has come to be known as the Molly Marine.
The Molly Marine is versatile. She fits the needs of the platoon. Thus, there are no set characteristics that she encompasses, but she must be selfless. While being the embodiment of honor, courage and commitment is a given in the title of Marine, the Molly Marine is much more. She has the “big picture” mentality. With this knowledge, the Molly Marine understands that it is her moral obligation to spread positivity amongst her peers so that they may find the strength to carry on. Whether seen or unseen, the Molly Marine acts in accordance with what is best for her platoon.
There are a few recruits who match this description of the Molly Marine in my platoon, but I have received this honor. It took nearly two years for me to even be eligible to get to the island, so upon arrival, I was first and foremost grateful. No amount of challenges put doubt in my mind in regard to the end goal: to become a United States Marine. When recruits would ask me what was wrong with the platoon, my response would be, “Absolutely nothing.” Understanding that the transition was all about development through struggle, I did not bother comparing my platoon to others. The challenges and obstacles still continue, yet with each day there is hope. With each mistake made, there are recruits learning from those mistakes. My role has been to show the platoon its potential, through guidance and by example. The progress has been slow, but this platoon is progressing nonetheless.
Progression is an art. There is no formula or easy fix for growth. But there is one thing that keeps recruits from giving up, one thing that gives them the will to persevere, and that is inspiration. In a place like Parris Island, it is difficult not to be inspired. Marching on the very grounds and shooting at the same berms that amazing men and women of the past and present Marine Corps have are more than enough reasons to be motivated and to take pride in what these recruits do. These recruits are trained by the best Marines in the Marine Corps. This recruit is inspired daily. As she looks to the left and right of her, she sees her sisters complete physical challenges. She sees her sisters putting others before themselves. She sees future Marines that she will be proud to serve with.
The future of the Corps is in great hands. These recruits just have to take what is given and give back a hundred times more. Every recruit has value. Every recruit has a role to play. The Molly Marine is merely a piece to the puzzle. Ultimately, the Molly Marine’s goal is not only to help her fellow recruits through recruit training, but to help them see that it only takes one to help many and that they too can be the change a unit needs.