1/12

We have a long legacy of Women Marines in our Chapter.  Some of our members were the original women Marines who enlisted, or were commissioned back in 1943 when the slogan was "Free a Man to Fight." We are extremely proud of these ladies .  They are the true pioneers that blazed the trail we follow to this day."

 Maria Rodriguez Callejas, CA-2
 Member and WMA Life Member

Hitory in the Making:  Celebrationg 53 years

1960s
  • First woman Marine is promoted to E-9 — Master Gunnery Sergeant Geraldine M. Moran

  • 1961 - The first woman Marine is promoted to Sergeant Major (E-9) — Bertha Peters Billeb

  • 1965 - The Marine Corps assigns the first woman to attache duty. Later, she is the first woman Marine to serve under hostile fire.

  • 1965 Rose Franco the first Hispanic woman promoted to Chief Warrant Officer.

  • 1967 Master Sergeant Barbara Jean Dulinsky first woman Marine to serve in a combat zone in Vietnam. She was assigned to U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam combat operations center in Saigon.

  • 1968 Lieutenant Colonel Jenny Wren was the first woman Marine to attend Command and Staff College.                (https://www.womenmarines.org/wm_history.aspx

1970s
  • 1stLt Patricia Murphy was named the first woman Marine certified military judge.  

  • 1978 - Marine Corps Col. Margaret A. Brewer becomes a brigadier general - the first female general in the Corps’ history.

1980s
  • 1986 - Rhonda LeBrescu Amtower was the first enlisted woman Marine to attend and graduate the Defense Language Institute where she studied Mandarin Chinese. After being commissioned she was the first and the only female attaché at the U. S.Hong Kong consulate from 86-88

1990s
  • 1992 - Gunnery Sergeant Melody Naatz became the first female to don the flat brimmed "Smokey Bear" as a Drill Instructor 

  • 1995 - Gilda Jackson was the first African American female Marine Colonel and the first woman to command the Naval Aviation Depot, Cherry Point, NC  

  • 1996 - Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Carol Mutter becomes the first female three-star officer in the U.S. Armed Forces as she assumed the position of Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Reserve Affairs at Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, D.C.

  • 1997 - 1st group of women Marines complete male/female integrated Marine Combat Training Course at Camp Geiger, NC, with LCpl Melissa Ohm as honor graduate. 

  • 1997 - Gunnery Sgt. Patricia Crimmins became the first female Marine to earn the drum major military occupational specialty (MOS 5521)

  • 1999 - Sgt. Kelly L. Anderson is the first female to successfully complete Designated Marksman School at Fleet Combat Training Center Dam Neck, Virginia.

2000s
  • 2001- Capt Vernice Armour becomes the first African American Pilot 

  • 2002 - Sergeant Jeannette L. Winters the first U.S. servicewoman to die in the war on terrorism. 

  • 2003 - Capt Vernice Armour becomes the first African American female combat pilot with combat missions in Iraq. 

  • 2005 - Cpl. Ramona M. Valdez and Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette first women Marines killed in Iraq when an improvised explosive device detonated near their convoy vehicle in Fallujah, Iraq 

  • 2006 - After enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1974, Angela Salinas works her way through the ranks to make history by becoming the first female Hispanic brigadier general in the Corps.

  • 2006 - Major Megan McClung becomes the first female Marine Officer to be killed in Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

  • 2009 - All-Female Marine Team Conducts First Mission in Southern Afghanistan

2010s
  • 2011 - Brig. General. Loretta E. Reynolds is the first female Marine commander of the Corps' iconic training ground for recruits at Parris Island, S.C.

  • 2012 - First female Marines take Combat Leadership Test

  • 2013 - SgtMaj. Angela Maness made history as  the first female to assume the duties of senior enlisted Marine at Marine Barracks Washington, a job known as the “oldest post of the Corps.” 

  • 2017 - GySgt Stacie Crowther becomes the first female Assistant Drum Major for the Presidents Own.

  • 2019-Today - Women serve in 93 percent of all occupational fields and 62 percent of all billets. Women constitute 8.2 percent of the Corps end strength and are an integral part of the Marine Corps.