View Full Version : Women's History Month gets star treatment from woman general

04-12-04, 07:14 AM
Women's History Month gets star treatment from woman general
Submitted by: MCAS New River
Story Identification Number: 200448154827
Story by Sgt. Christine C. Odom

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C.(March 31, 2004) -- Director of Marine Corps Public Affairs Brig. Gen. Mary Ann Krusa-Dossin was the guest speaker for Women’s History Month on March 31 at the Station Theater.

She is the first Provost Marshal officer in her field to receive a general-grade commission. Krusa-Dossin shared her experiences in the Marine Corps and stories of the women who have influenced her life.

“My mother always told me to reach for the stars,” said Krusa-Dossin during her speech. “Little did she know I was going to end up with one.”

The Gary, Ind., native touched on several topics, but emphasized that “freedom” was the theme. Freedom consisted of four key messages: never give up personal power to the will of others, know your limitations, don’t be afraid to have a dream, and when you succeed and reach the top, please remember to send that elevator back down.

“I didn’t get here by myself; there were many others who helped me get where I am today,” she said.

When Krusa-Dossin joined the Marine Corps in August 1975, there weren’t too many opportunities for women. At that time, she didn’t have to qualify with a weapon and wasn’t allowed to carry or train with a sword. Women weren’t even authorized to wear slacks.

“Back then, women weren’t seen as equal to men,” said Lance Cpl. Alondra Silva Alvarez, assistant section head of service record maintenance at the Installation Personnel Administration Center aboard New River.

According to Krusa-Dossin, during her more than 28 years of service, she has witnessed numerous changes in the equality of women in the military. The women pioneers she believed made those changes possible, to name a few, were Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker and the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots.

She recalled that one pivotal moment for women in the military was when they were granted continuous active service, which is currently known as active duty. Another, she said, was when women were no longer administratively separated from the Marine Corps upon getting married or establishing a family.

“A drawback for women before was not having an equal status with their male counterparts,” she added.

Presently, women make up six percent of today’s Marine Corps, and Krusa-Dossin only hopes the numbers will climb in the future.

“I don’t think of myself as a pioneer,” said Krusa-Dossin. “However, there are some things I have done in my career that have helped pave the way for women today.”

Silva Alvarez was one of many who enjoyed Krusa-Dossin’s remarks.

“She definitely caught my attention. I especially like the quote she said to ‘reach for the stars.’ You’ve got to know your limitations and have the willingness to succeed,” concluded Silva Alvarez.


Brig. Gen. Mary Ann Krusa-Dossin speaks to the crowd during the Women’s History Month Celebration on March 31 at the Station Theater. Krusa-Dossin is the Director of Marine Corps Public Affairs. Photo by: Lance Cpl. Zachary R. Frank