What? Women Marines? You've got to be kidding ....
That was the first reaction from a group of male
Marines freed from a prison camp in the
Philippines in February 1945.
These men could hardly believe that women
were in the Corps.

American women in military uniform were rare
at the beginning of World War II. On July 30, 1942,
The Marine Corps Womens Reserve was established
as part of the Marine Corps Reserve.
The mission of the Marine Corps Womens Reserve
was to provide qualified women for duty at shore
establishments of the Marine Corps, releasing men for
combat duty.

By February 1943, American forces wiped out all enemy
opposition on Guadalcanal.
The bitter fighting there made it apparent that many
more Marines would be needed to continue the war
in the Pacific.
The Marine Corps would soon learn that there were
no differences between men and women with respect
to their fierce pride in the Marine Corps and that special
"Once a Marine, Always a Marine"
brand of loyalty.

The first group of women officers was given direct commissions
based on ability and civilian expertise.
These women were given no formal indoctrination or schooling,
but went on active duty immediately.
Women Marines were assigned to over 200 different jobs,
among them radio operator, photographer, parachute rigger, driver,
aerial gunnery instructor, cook, baker, quartermaster,
control tower operator, motion picture operator, auto mechanic,
telegraph operator, cryptographer, laundry operator, post exchange,
stenographer and agriculturist.

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