In celebration of Women’s History Month, female Marines of the 9th Marine Corps District came together recently to commemorate contributions made by women Marines.
The project was to update old recruiting posters of the world war eras, aimed at enlisting women, with a more contemporary feel and adequate reflection of modern Marines.
“You just couldn’t feel a connection with the old posters,” said project participant Cpl. Alaina Williams, logistics motor transport operator at district headquarters. “With these, you can see a broader range of what women can do in the Corps. All the women have different ribbons.”
Other participants were Chief Warrant Officer 4 Nicole Holt, Capt. Amelia Kays, Sgt. Kara Perez, Sgt. Kaili Stewart, Sgt. Ashley Lorenc, and Cpl. Viet Brickeen.
Instead of projecting that women only serve to free up men for combat, the new posters acknowledge that women serve and strengthen a diverse Corps.
The project coincides with Women’s History Month, held annually in March, focusing on the contributions women have made and continue to make in the Marine Corps.
In 1918, Pvt. Opha Mae Johnson became the first woman to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. After her, some 300 women also enlisted to perform stateside duties and allow male Marines to serve in combat overseas.
When World War II sparked, women were once again called into the ranks. Later that year, Capt. Annie Lentz became the first female commissioned officer. In 1948, Congress passed legislation to make women Marines permanently part of the Marine Corps.
Since then, female Marines have grown to serve in 93 percent of all occupational fields and 62 percent of all billets. They make up approximately 6 percent of Marine Corps manpower and serve to make the Corps stronger everyday, according to the Women Marines Association.