Female Marines

Due to the hard nature of being a marine makes some women avoid joining the service. Intensive/ hard training and the realization of living out at sea for months at a time add to the reluctance of becoming women marines. Today there is more participation of women in military service such as the army, air force, or navy.


Different nations gave women a chance to join their military services at different stages throughout history. The USA was one of the first, the secretary of the navy allowed women to join the service in 1918. Officially the first woman marine is credited to Opha Mae Johnson and she joined the service on 13 August 1918. In the same year, some 300 other women also joined the service as women marines and they were put in charge of stateside clerical duties. This helped send male marines overseas for battle.

World War II

On February 1943 the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve was established and its first director was Mrs. Ruth Chaney Streeter who came from Morristown, New Jersey. At the end of World War II, 85% of the personnel at the U.S. Marine corps, Headquarters were women.

The initial group of women marines were commissioned directly based on abilities and civilian expertise. They had neither formal education nor indoctrination, but active duties were given to them immediately. They were assigned to 200 different jobs among them cooking, baking, driving, photography, radio operator, laundry, Post Exchange manager among many other jobs.

After the World War II

After the war on 7th June 1946, the Commandant of the marines approved retention of a few women on active duty. There service would continue as a trained nucleus in case of emergency mobilization. From the 20,000 women marines who had joined during the war only 1000 would remain by 1st July 1947.

On 12th June 1948 the U.S. Congress passed the Women’s Armed Service Integrated Act, making women a permanent part of the Marine Corps and by 1950, 2787 women marines were mobilized for the Korean War serving both stateside and overseas. By the Vietnam War the number of women marines was stable having 2700 on active duty. In 1975 women were assigned in most occupational fields except infantry, artillery, and armor and air crew. During the 1990-1991 Operation Desert and Desert Storm over 1000 women Marines were deployed in the wars.


As of 2010 women marines accounted for approximately 6.2% of all Marine Corps and the number is still rising. Due to the prospect of getting pension rights after retirement more and more women are joining the service. This shows their attitude towards serving with the Marine Corps in improving since the earlier days.

Retirement for women marines

20 year retirement

The Marine Corps states that an individual service man or woman needs to serve for at least 20 years before years before receiving retirement pay. The retirees never completely sever the responsibilities; they can be recalled back to active duty after retirement.

Disability retirement

The law states that a service woman needs to be rated at least 30% disable to qualify for disability retirement. Any less will be reassigned to other duties within your capability. To be a beneficiary of compensation you must have incurred the disability while on service.

Combat related special compensation

There is a law that states after serving for a certain amount of years with the Marine Corps, the retiree can be compensated for his disability as well as get his retirement or pension plans. This gives added help to the person since they would not be able to work after disability retirement.

Spouse Help

Spouses are also given the opportunity to spend time with the spouses. This person would depend on the duration of time the service person has spent on base.

To conclude with pride we can say today women marine are actively involved in military jobs that help keep our countries safe for us to live in.


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