Women Marines Association
Bridge to the Future
The 29th Biennial Women Marines Association (WMA) Convention and Professional Development Conference was held in Portland, OR. The theme, Bridge to the Future, highlighted the host city of Portland, Or., and the great strides women have made in the Corps in the past and our movement forward as doors continue to open. Marines past and present were in attendance and enjoyed the camaraderie that has always been shared. Keynote speakers were General Robert Neller, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, and Brigadier General Helen Pratt Commanding General, FHG, Marine Forces Reserves in New Orleans, Louisiana and current president of the Marine Corps University.
The Conference started off with the “Rose Bowl” as the kick off to the next 4 days. It was a time to meet, mingle and enjoy before the business of WMA began. General Helen Pratt was the guest speaker at the Opening Banquet and talked about the changes that have occurred but spoke of the importance of such organizations as WMA for all women to know our past as we step forward into the future. We ended with a motivating speech by General Neller that focused on where we are headed and the legacy and the contributions of female Marines to the Corps from all generations. Both were gracious to speak to the Marines in attendance and pose for pictures. We were also honored to have Brigadier General Lori Reynolds and Carol Mutter (LtGen Ret) in attendance
In between the goals of conducting business of the Association it went beyond “Bridging the Future in the City of Roses”. It bridged generations and let all see what it took to be a Marine during any certain period from WWII to present. It built bonds among those in attendance, renewing friendships and creating new ones. From the workshops that are presented experts talked about leadership, resiliency and learned about the Veteran benefits available to them. The evening “Fireside Chat” allowed those in attendance to ask questions, voice their concerns and learn from each other. Our memorial service honored and remembered our sisters who were issued their final orders with a flag being placed for each. The Recognition and Awards luncheon featured the good works of the chapters the ended with the best chapter during this two year period being awarded the prestigious Broe Award during the closing ceremonies.
Two pinning ceremonies were conducted during the convention to honor those veterans who had served in and during Vietnam. WMA National President Betty Moseley Brown presided over this event. Well over 200 were from this era. WMA is a Commemorative Partner with the 50th Anniversary of Vietnam and has held several events across the United States.
WMA is a vital and active veteran’s organization that works within local communities to make a difference. Women who have served in the Marine Corps have earned what few have had the courage, endurance and patience to earn: the title Marine. WMA members continue serve as leaders in many ways and strive to be mentors and role models for future generations. They preserve their proud history and support the mission and core values of the Marine Corps. Membership in WMA is open to all women serving or who have honorably served as a U.S. Marine. More information can be found at http://www.womenmarines.org. Questions can be sent to WMA@womenmarines.org
See more pictures of the entire convention at the sites below