100 years and Counting
By Rhonda Amtower
What a fabulous celebration we experienced at our recent Biennial Convention and Professional Development Symposium as we commemorated 100 years of women’s service in the Marine Corps. We turned the corner on a historic and successful 100 year run as women in the Corps. During the convention we recognized the incredible achievements and history that we as Marines have made during the last 100 years. WMA is a key part of promoting and preserving that history, having been a part of this for 58 of the 100 illustrious years. Just like Opha May Johnson is a key part of our legacy of the history of women in the Marine Corps, WMA too plays a key role in that legacy and we can all step up and be like Opha May, be the first, open more doors to pave the way for women in the future. Whether we be Veteran Marines or on active duty we can all play a part in making history today for our future of tomorrow.
Even though we have come a long way, we still have a long way to go. Who would have thought back in 1960 that we would be where we are now with over 2500 members who range from our WWII veterans to our active duty today? We have over 70 chapters with an additional 14 chapters chartered in the last two years alone and another 28 in the process of forming as we speak!
We must all work together and share our talents to keep WMA moving forward into the future. We all have so much to be proud of since each one of us has made a difference to our unique history of serving in United States Marine Corps and continue to work towards preserving that history as members of WMA. We cannot and will not lose our focus on our members whether they be our Veteran Marines or active duty but we must learn to build the bridges between our generations to not only retain our current members but also to recruit new ones.
We members of the National Board of Directors were elected to represent you our 2500 + membership. We have the responsibility to conduct the business of WMA to ensure that we remain a vital and relevant Association. We pledge to be good stewards of your trust and confidence and to always do what is best for WMA. But we cannot do this without everyone’s help and support. Communication and education are key in enabling all members to understand more about WMA. Every member at every level whether as a Member at Large, a Chapter member, a National Board member or one serving at the national level, ALL must be a part of our future. Communication is a two way street and we will do our part to keep in touch with you but we need to hear from you as well.
I invite, no challenge, each of you to take ownership in WMA. With your participation at the local, chapter and national level we can all work together to preserve our history and heritage. Become part of change. Be a part of the future. I look forward to your support and hope that you will all step up and lend your talents, your voices to the cause. Let’s all be a part of making history for the next 100 years of women in the Corps and another 50 years plus of supporting our proud traditions of WMA.
Rhonda LeBrescu Amtower
Rhonda LeBrescu Amtower WMA National President, a member of the National Board of Directors has served as the Immediate Past President (IPP) 2012 – 2018. As a Mustang Marine she retired in 2000 after 25 years of active duty in the Intelligence Field. She is a WMA Life Member and has been an active member of WMA since 2000 when she served as DC-1 Chapter President, Area 2 Director, 2nd Vice President, 1st Vice President and then as National President 2008-2012. She served as Chair of the Convention Planning Committee (CPC) and Chair of the Standing Operating Procedures (SOP) Committee, Bylaws Committee and the Electronic Communications Committee (ECC). Rhonda is committed to serving WMA to provide her experience in any way possible.