View Full Version : Female Marine finishes combat course

03-27-04, 06:51 AM
Female Marine finishes combat course
Submitted by: MCAS Miramar
Story Identification Number: 200432514527
Story by Lance Cpl. Skye Jones

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif(March 25, 2004) -- First impressions are imperative, especially in the Marine Corps.

And no one knows that better than Sgt. Norma Garcia, one of two female squad instructors who recently completed the Marine Combat Instructors Course here and will soon teach Marine Combat Training.

The Marine combat instructor will not only give her students going through MCT an outstanding example of an iron-willed Marine, but she may also be one of the first examples of a female Marine they encounter.

"Marines who go through MCT on the West Coast are not used to seeing a female squad instructor," said the Ocotlan Jaslisco, Mexico, native. "I wanted to change that."

Sgt. Maj. Aaron L. Banks, MCT Battalion sergeant major, said Marines like Garcia have raised the bar and are a great example for Marines to follow.

"The female Marine leaders who are currently here, and those who've already served a tour, possess those intangible and immeasurable traits which fuel and drive our Corps to the point of distinction which forces others to have no choice but to take notice," he added.

Garcia has the highest physical fitness test score in her class of approximately 46 students with a 297. In addition to current triumphs, she was the 2003 Noncommissioned Officer of the Year for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

Her Marine Corps story began July 19, 1999, where she "joined for the challenge."

"If someone tells me 'It's too hard' I'll say 'OK' and do it," explained Garcia.

Staff Sgt. John A. Craig, MCIC instructor, said Garcia always steps up to the plate when it comes to doing extra work and volunteering.

After completing recruit training, Garcia served in Okinawa as a training clerk, then as an aviation operations specialist at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. Later, Garcia worked at the Department of Safety and Standardization at 3rd MAW.

While stationed at Miramar, Garcia learned that there were openings for female instructors at MCT. At the time, she had no idea that she would be the first female to go through the seven-week course.

"I've always wanted to teach and influence younger Marines," said Garcia. "I care about the future of the Marine Corps."

Garcia said being an instructor will give her a chance to show junior Marines a positive image of the Corps, and she will do that best by leading by example.

"If I can inspire even 10 percent of the Marines who come through this course, I'll be satisfied," she added.

Although Garcia encountered bumps along the way to a new career path, she continued to pursue her dreams.

"If there's something you want in life, go for it. Don't let weaknesses stop you. If you put your heart into your goals, anything is possible," she concluded.


Sgt. Norma Garcia completes the 15k forced march during the final portion of the Marine Combat Instructors Course. Photo by Lance Cpl. Skye Jones Photo by: Lance Cpl. Skye Jones