Episode 5 of Irene’s Story

Stories from Real Life

In February 1944, Irene was promoted to Tech Sergeant. A Tech or Technical Sergeant was similar in rank to a gunnery sergeant and other technical ranks with which it shared its insignia. Then in March, she made First Sergeant. By this time, she had 120 women in her company plus nineteen Drill Instructors (DIs) – all men, of course. She developed strong friendships with those DIs, who referred to her as “Top.” She learned about leadership and how to get people to do what you want them to do. Within the first year or so of her Marine Corps career, she had racked up an impressive collection of achievements:

• the first woman to leave Sharpe & Dohme to join the Marines
• among the first of eight women to be sworn into the Corps in Philadelphia
• one of the first class of Women Marines to be trained at…

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