View Full Version : Women Marines 61st Anniversary

03-18-04, 09:58 AM
Women Marines celebrate 61 years of service

Submitted by: MCB Camp Butler
Story Identification Number: 200431518527
Story by Lance Cpl. Rose A. Muth

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa, Japan (March 5, 2004) -- It all started on Aug. 13, 1918 in Washington D.C. with Opha Mae Johnson answering the call to “Free a Man to Fight” during World War I. Three hundred and five women joined the Marines to serve until they were disbanded in July of 1919.

In November of 1942 the Women Marines Reserve was approved, and on June 12, 1948, Congress passed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act and made women a permanent part of the regular Marine Corps.

This historical event was remembered on March 5, 2004, as the Woman Marines of Okinawa came together to celebrate their 61st anniversary at the Butler Officer’s Club.

“The purpose of the ball was to celebrate the birthday/anniversary of Women Marines, as well as to boost morale and esprit de corps between Marines. We also helped educate Marines about women in Marine Corps history, and gave Marines in the barracks something positive to be involved in,” said Cpl. Mayana S. McIntyre, postal clerk, Headquarters and Service Battalion, Camp Foster, who thought of the birthday ball idea.

When first entering the white table clothed, red napkin clad tables; there was an aura of pride and heritage permeating in the air. Laughter and chatter filled the walls of the Officer’s Club Ball room, and then the ceremonies began.

The first piece of cake was presented to the oldest Marine, Master Gunnery Sgt. Laurie L. Lenser, and the youngest Marine, Lance Cpl. Rochelle E. Bennett.

There were two guest speakers at the celebration, Lt. Col. Mary J. Choate, and Sgt. Maj. Susan M. Bellis.

Choate talked about the advancement women have made in the Marine Corps and their evolvement of the Marine Corps itself.

“Opha Mae Johnson would be surprised if she could see how far we have advanced in the Marines Corps,” Choate said.

Bellis said that it’s not the Marine Corps that takes care of Marines, it’s the Marines taking care of each other. But having fun and remembering tradition is key.

“Anytime Marines get together to celebrate Marine Corps history is a very good time,” Bellis said.

“I believe the celebration went very well! There were things that went well and some things we can improve on, but this was the first one for the whole staff. I know Okinawa will be having the Second Annual Women Marines Birthday Celebration next year,” McIntyre said.

Since 1918, women have answered the call to serve proudly in the United States Marines and the role of women in the Marines has evolved and expanded. All Women Marines can look forward to the future proudly, while never forgetting the women who made this future possible.


03-18-04, 11:57 AM
Read once, when Gen. Thomas Holcomb, the 17th Commandant of the Marine Corps, announced the formation of the Marine Corps Women's Reserve.
A picture of Archibald Henderson fell to the ground, the old man must have being having a fit.
That women would be rejoining us in the ranks after having served in WW I.

"A man or woman is measured
by the footprint,
he or she leaves behind"

"They were the best you had, America,
and you turned your back on them".
~ Joe Galloway ~ Speaking about Vietnam Veterans


Semper Fidelis

03-26-04, 08:37 PM
Just a note, the Women Marine Association will be holding their Biennial Convetion in San Diego in September.


The more, the merrier. Time to thank those who busted their rears before us and those who are busting their rears now.