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C E L E B R AT I N G 75 Y E A R S

Women Marines


A publication in partnership with the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, local Chapters of the Women Marines Association, and Camp Pendleton Historical Society. 928 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054 www.oceansidechamber.com

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Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years



Women Marines C E L EBR AT I NG 75 Y E ARS

TAB LE O F CO NTENTS 4 6 12 13 14 16 20 24 25 26 28 30 32 33 34 36 37 38 40 42 44 45 46 48 50

Timeline: Women Marines Throughout the Years Camp Pendleton’s Women Marines Montezuma Red Lipstick & Nail Polish Women Marines in Print, Then & Now FeMarines Arrive Being a First Women Generals Eleanor Judge, Sgt. Maj., USMC (Ret) Ramona Cook, Sgt. Maj., USMC (Ret) Women Marine Headlines from Camp Pendleton’s Newspaper “The Pendleton Scout” Elaine M. Bowden, Lt. Col. USMC (Ret) Kathleen Ables, Maj., USMC (Ret) Directors of Women Marines Sergeants Major of Women Marines Hillary Aguirre, Staff Sgt., USMC Velanda K. Joyner, Sgt. Maj., USMC, (Ret) Women Marines in the News Manuela “Mani” Santos, Chief Warrant Officer 2, USMC (Ret) Mary E. Gibbs, Chief Warrant Officer 5, USMC (Ret) Iris Biggers, Sgt., USMC Barbara A. Cogburn, Gunnery Sgt., USMC (Ret) Georgia A. Wendling Shirey, Pfc., USMC Maria Franco, Sgt., USMC; Jane (Cook) Strand, Staff Sgt., USMC The Green Hat Club, Memories from Sgt. Shirley Downey, USMC First Female Students Land at Camp Pendleton For Marine Training


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A publication in partnership with the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, local Chapters of the Women Marines Association, and Camp Pendleton Historical Society. 928 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054 www.oceansidechamber.com

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Produced and published by the staff of the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce 928 North Coast Hwy., Oceanside, CA 92054 760-722-1534 • www.OceansideChamber.com Copyright Oceanside Chamber of Commerce 2018. All Rights Reserved. Articles: Faye Jonason, Nancy Wilt, Shirley R. Downey, Carl Prine, Col. Marianne Waldrop, USMC (Ret), PhD. Advertising: Pam Rumer Concept: Scott Ashton and Kristi Hawthorne Project Manager: Scott Ashton Design, Layout and Prepress: Tiffany Smith Photos: Unless otherwise noted, Courtesy of Camp Pendleton Archives Special Thanks to all of our advertisers!

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years





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Women Marines Throughout the Years 1910s


1918 – Pvt. Opha May Johnson – first woman to enlist in the Marine Corps

1970: Chief Warrant Officer Annie Grimes – first African American Marine Officer to retire with 20 years of service. As a staff sergeant, she was stationed at Camp Pendleton in 1958.

1940s 1942 – Oct. 31: Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox authorized the Marine Corps to create a Women’s Reserve (USMCWR) and accept women applicants for commissions and enlistments

1972: Lt. Col. Carolyn Walsh – Commanding Officer, Women’s Officer School, was the first female Officer allowed to remain on duty while pregnant 1973: Col. Mary E. Bane – first female to command a battalion of mostly male Marines, was selected as Commanding Officer, Headquarters and Service Battalion (H&S Bn), MCB Camp Pendleton

1943 – March 5: Capt. Lillian Daly, USMCWR – first female Marine to report to Marine Barracks, Camp Joseph H. Pendleton for duty as West Coast Liaison

1974 – Apr. 1: Woman Marine Company at Camp Pendleton was deactivated. All women Marines reporting to Camp Pendleton were then assigned to the unit in which they performed their duties.

1943 – Oct. 26: First contingent of (95) women Marines, comprised of (2) Officers and (93) enlisted Marines, arrive at Camp Pendleton. All women Marines resided in the base’s 24 Area. 1946 – Sept. 1: Original terminal date set for Women’s Reserve; all WR units would be disbanded

1976: Patricia Halsey-Munroe – first female Judge Advocate in the 1st Marine Division 1978: Col. Margaret A. Brewer – first woman Marine Officer selected for brigadier general


Capt. Lillian O. Daly, the first woman Marine to arrive at Camp Pendleton, June 1943. (Los Angeles Times photo)

1980: Sgt. Maj. Eleanor Judge – first female Sergeant Major of MCB Camp Pendleton

1948 – June 12: Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948 authorized 100 regular Women Marine officers, 10 warrant officers, and 1,000 enlisted Marines in a gradual two-year build-up

1980: Sgt. Maj. Barbara A. Farrell – first female assigned to Assault Amphibian School, Camp Pendleton

1949: Annie E. Graham and Ann E. Lamb – first AfricanAmerican females to enlist in the Marine Corps


1985: Maj. Mitzi Manning – first female commanding officer of Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron, MCAS Camp Pendleton


1993: Secretary of Defense Les Aspen lifts restrictions and allows women to fly combat aircraft

1950: The first women Marines, since the end of World War II, report to Camp Pendleton for duty.

1997 – Oct. 17: Karen Fuller Brannen – first female Marine strike fighter (F/A-18) pilot



1961: Sgt. Maj. Bertha Peters Billeb – first woman Marine promoted to sergeant major

2001: Capt. Vernice Armour – first African-American pilot; while at Camp Pendleton, she was the 2001 Camp Pendleton Female Athlete of the Year and won the annual Strongest Warrior

1967: Master Sgt. Barbara Jean Dulinsky – first woman Marine to serve in a combat zone in Vietnam 1969: A new Woman Marine barracks opened at Camp Pendleton, replacing the 24 Area barracks. 4

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years

Vernice Armour. Photo courtesy of Vernice Armour


Women Marines marching in formation for a ceremony at Camp Pendleton

Competition twice. In 2003, she was the first AfricanAmerican female combat pilot with combat missions in Iraq.

2017: Pfc. Maria Daum – first female Marine to join the infantry through entry-level training; she and three other females were assigned to 2nd Bn, 4th Marines, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton.

2002: Sgt. Jeannette L. Winters – first U.S. servicewoman to be killed in the war on terrorism

2017 – Sept. 25: First female Marine Officer graduates from the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course and subsequently reports to the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton.

2006: Col. Angela Salinas – first female Hispanic Marine Officer selected for brigadier general. At Camp Pendleton, she commanded H&S Company, 1st Maintenance Bn; was Deputy G-1 (Admin/Personnel), 1st Force Service Support Group (1st FSSG).

2017: 2nd Lt. Mariah Klenke – first female Officer graduate of the Assault Amphibian Officer Course

2006: Maj. Megan McClung – first female Marine Officer killed in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom; she was the Public Affairs Officer, I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) 2007: Sgt. Maj. Barbara J. Titus – first female sergeant major of Marine Corps Installations – West

2018 – March 6: Pfc. Kira Kozik – first female Marine to 2nd Lt. Mariah Klenke is the first female assault check in to the School amphibian officer in the Marine Corps’ history (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Lukas Kalinauskas) of Infantry – West; this would be the first male-female integrated Marine Combat Training Company on the West Coast.

2010s 2011: Brig. Gen. Lori Reynolds – first female commanding general of Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C. Earlier in her career, she was assigned to Headquarters Bn, 1st Marine Division; 9th Communications Bn; was the Commanding Officer, I MEF Headquarters Group at Camp Pendleton.

2018 – June 22: Lt. Col. Michelle Macander – first female Officer in the Marine Corps to command a ground combat arms unit, 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton

2011: Sgt. Maj. Laura Brown – first female base sergeant major in the history of Marine Corps Base, Quantico. Served as first sergeant with H&S Bn, MCB Camp Pendleton and 1st Medical Bn, Combat Logistics Regiment 15, 1st Marine Logistics Group at Camp Pendleton from 2002-2005. 2014: Brig. Gen. Helen Pratt – selected and assigned as the first female President of the Marine Corps University. Assigned to Camp Pendleton from 1989 – 1992, she served with Bravo Co, 7th Motor Transport Bn, 1st FSSG and deployed to Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

2018: Female Marines constitute 8.3 percent of the Marine Corps end strength

2015 – Dec: Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announces that all military occupations, including combat-specific roles, would be open to women


U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Michelle I. Macander, incoming commanding officer of 1st Combat Engineer Battalion (CEB), 1st Marine Division, gives a speech during a change of command ceremony at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, June 22, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Audrey C. M. Rampton)

Bold Italic = Camp Pendleton specific event/footnote For a comprehensive timeline regarding the history of women Marines, go to the History page of the Women Marines Association web page, www.womenmarines.org/wm-history

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


Camp Pendleton’s

WOMEN MARINES active duty during World War II.

by Faye Jonason, Director, Camp Pendleton History Museum Branch

A flag-raising ceremony was held in honor of the new arrivals, followed by a base-wide tour and the presentation of a pedigreed bulldog for their company mascot. The Women Reservists were established in wooden barracks in Camp Pico in the 24 Area, located near the former base headquarters close to the junction of the current Vandegrift Boulevard and Basilone Road. The barracks had been completed two months before with enough room to house 40 officers and 600 enlisted. A fence surrounded the barracks to discourage male Marines, and was locked nightly when liberty expired.

It is said that WRs, or Women Marines, did much more than “Free a Man to Fight” in World War II. Volunteering to serve in positions as typists, clerks, bookkeepers, radar technicians, telephone operators and truck drivers, these women replaced nearly a combat division. Following President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s dedication of Camp Joseph H. Pendleton, then the world’s largest Marine base, and its feverish construction, it was decided to relocate the contractor’s barracks and rebuild them to house the incoming Women Marine Reserves. Thirteen months after the base’s dedication, on October 26, 1943, the first contingent of 95 women Marines (2 officers and 93 enlisted Marines) arrived on Camp Pendleton. These women were just a part of the 23,000 Women Reservists who entered

In 1944, the Oceanside Daily-Blade Tribune featured the Women Reserves in its base anniversary edition with an article entitled, “U. S. Marine Corps Women’s Reserves now are permanent and attractive additions to post personnel at Camp Pendleton”. Living conditions described “individual beds, plenty of baths, laundry and ironing equipment. Lounges are arranged on the first floor for entertainment and reception and the upper decks are used exclusively by women where they may lounge at ease, read and write.” It stated that a post-exchange was established for the Women Reserves with “genuine girdles, perfumes, candy, cigarettes, jewelry and many other items that please the feminine heart” available to them for purchase. The article further identified services as free movies, a beauty parlor and a recreation hall on the second floor of their post exchange for the women. Elizabeth Arden developed “Montezuma Red” lipstick and nail polish to be worn by Women Marines to match the cord on the women’s cover. The women were able to attend dances regularly and go on Sunday hikes.

Doris (Basile) Andrews, Stewart, and Sgt. Jean Deniston in front of 24 Area women’s barracks, Camp Pendleton, December 1943. (Photo from the Doris Andrews collection, Camp Pendleton Archives)

The article stated that the women worked “to free male Marines for combat” by pitching “in nearly all phases of camp work” and said that mess halls were run by women, “and serve the best of food, prepared with that ‘woman’s touch’”. While Women Reservists primarily performed clerical duties in offices, many served as photographers, aviation mechanics, truck and jeep drivers, conducted weapons inventory and accounted for cold storage and other goods at the commissary. It is interesting that the article noted the different uniforms the Women Reservists wore, stating that “truck drivers wear specially designed dungarees and field shoes with a regular man’s overseas cap,” and identified several permitted uniforms. It stated that “conventional greens or seersucker greens” were used for office and evening wear and continued that “officers’ overseas caps” were allowed the women within camp boundaries. As more Women Reserves arrived, a battalion was 6

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


with classes set up in Quantico, Virginia, for the training and indoctrination of women officers.

organized. By 1945, more than 1,000 Women Reserves were stationed at Camp Pendleton. Working in 225 specialties in 16 out of 21 functional fields, Women Reserves constituted 85 percent of the enlisted personnel at Headquarters Marine Corps and one-half to two-thirds of the permanent personnel at all large Marine Corps posts and stations.

The Korean War brought the mobilization of the Women Marine Corps Reserves in 1950 and 2,787 women were called to active duty to various posts in the Corps. Captain Jeanette Sustad, Technical Sergeant Catherine G. Murray and Sergeant Beatrice M. Kent reported to Camp Pendleton on Aug. 8, 1950 to prepare billeting arrangements for women Marines who would soon be arriving to Camp Pendleton. The call attracted former women Marines like Corporal Anne Revak, who drove from her home in Fairbanks, Alaska, to Seattle in order to report within the continental United States; she was then sent to serve at Camp Pendleton. The incoming women were assigned to the same 24 Area barracks previously occupied by women Marines in World War II.

With the close of World War II, Camp Pendleton became a demobilization center for Marines. The Women Marines battalion, under command of Major Marna V. Brady, was processed and disbanded in May 1946. Of the 20,000 women who had joined the Marine Corps during World War II, only 1,000 remained in the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve on 1 July 1946. The Women’s Armed Services Integration Act was passed by the United States Congress passed in June 1948. The law made women a permanent part of the regular Marine Corps, authorizing 100 regular Women Marine officers, 10 warrant officers, and 1,000 enlisted Marines. Boot camp for enlisted females was set up at Parris Island, South Carolina

The call-up resulted in approximately 1,000 women, veterans and new recruits alike, assigned to extended Marine active duty to work in clerical, recruit, public information, Maj. Gen Oliver P. Smith greets the first three women Marines to serve at Camp Pendleton since the end of World War II, Aug. 8, 1950. U.S. Marine Corps photo


Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


communications, photography, cartographic drafting, disbursing and motor transport fields. Training for the women took place at Parris Island. Captain Sustad served as the Supervisor of Women Marines, Headquarters Company, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Barracks, Camp Pendleton. Eventually the Women Marines organization became WM Company, activated as an element of Service Battalion in June 1951. Captain Sustad was perhaps the first postwar Woman Marine to be assigned as adjutant at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. In 1953, the women Marines opened and operated the Green Hat Club in the 24 Area at Camp Pendleton. In the mid-1950s, the infamous chain-link fence which surrounded their barracks was unceremoniously torn down; Colonel Julia Hamblet, Director of Women Marines, had ordered the fence removed.

Women Marines receiving certificates of completion for the General Military Subjects course, Women Marine Division, Regimental Schools, Camp Pendleton, ca. 1960s. (Photo courtesy of the Camp Pendleton Archives)

Even though exclusions were in place, a few women, perhaps veterans who were already trained, served in the utilities, weapons repair, supply, and security guard fields. There were two women Marines in radio repair in 1950, although the 16week training did not reopen for women until March 1953. In the motor transport field, one woman Marine, Sergeant Theresa “Sue” Sousa, was on duty at Camp Pendleton; through her determination and persistence, she proved that she could handle a truck and jeep and became a driver. In the fall of 1952, women were assigned to the intensive fiveweek course at Motor Transport School (location?). By 1954, there were 111 women in the motor transport field (at Camp Pendleton?)

Thank You for your

For women, Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) were focused on administration, personnel, supply, accounting and public information fields. Restrictions in place allowed the women very few opportunities to advance. In 1953, additional MOSs were assigned adding intelligence, disbursing, post exchange and special services to the opportunities afforded to women officers.


As the Korean War armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, it was evident that the women Marine program had undergone permanent change, but the urgency to implement new, as well as long-standing, requirements and regulations on behalf of women Marines subsided. Although women were limited by law to a ceiling of 2% of the authorized strength of the Marine Corps, the Marine Corps set a limit of 1%, which was not reached by 1964. Even though at times, women had been assigned to as many as 27 occupational fields, about half of the women served in the same few specialties: personnel administration, supply, communications, disbursing, data processing, post exchange

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Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


and public information. Although seven aviation fields were identified as suitable for women officers, women were not assigned to aviation specialties until about 1960. Many of the positions available to women were those serving the women Marine program directly. During this time, basic training for women focused instruction on personal grooming and manners. In April 1965, a Marine Corps Bulletin directed that action be taken on 75 of the Commandant’s approved recommendations, resulting in more than half of the proposals affecting women Marines becoming a matter of policy by mid-1965. Lt. Col. Jeanette Sustad was named to the new full-time post of Deputy Director of Women Marines. A broad range of fields with related training opened up to women including drafting, lithography, operational communications, communications maintenance, auditing, finance, aerology, air control and flight equipment. More overseas billets would now be offered to women. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Public Law 90-130 on Nov. 8, 1967. The law removed the 2% limit on women in military service and opened promotions to general and flag ranks for women officers. Lt. Col. Jenny Wrenn became first woman officer to be assigned to Command and Staff College when she received approval on Feb. 9, 1968. Pfc. Reginal T. Musser served with Camp Pendleton’s Tracked Vehicle Maintenance Unit as the first woman Marine tank mechanic.

1st Sgt. LaRue Ditmore, USMC (l) shakes hands with an unidentified Marine Corps captain in front of the Woman Marine Company, Headquarters Battalion, Camp Pendleton, undated. (Photo from the LaRue Ditmore collection, Camp Pendleton Archives)

aboard Base. Ten days later, the Navy reversed course and decided to go forward with its San Diego projects, deeming them crucial for support of the Vietnam War. In 1968, a $1.7 million bachelor officer quarters (BOQ) opened at Camp Del Mar, available to both unmarried men and women. The new facilities were designed to house 168 persons and featured 12 two-room suites for senior officers, 132 suites with a combination bedroom/living room, and 24 single rooms; all had private baths. In March 1969, Camp Pendleton’s women Marines moved to their new barracks in the 13 Area (Mainside) becoming the nation’s first permanent barracks for Women Marines.

In the fall of 1967, the mounting financial cost of the war in Vietnam led President Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to order a major military construction freeze thus temporarily stopping construction projects Women Marines from the 1st Marine Division Band deployed to Saudi Arabia ISO Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm (1990-1991). Photo courtesy of the Marine Corps Musicians Association)

Lt. Col. Mary Bane graduated from the high-level Armed Forces College but was limited to a branch-head assignment. She was ordered to an Assistant Chief of Staff position at Camp Pendleton where she served admirably. By her 1977 retirement, Colonel Bane had served two years as Head of the Separation and Retirement Branch at Headquarters (Marine Corps?). In order to reduce the numbers of service women leaving military service, a policy of waivers of discharge for pregnancy was instituted by the Department of Defense in 1971. The Second District Court ruled in 1976 that the Marine Corps regulation requiring the discharge of a pregnant woman Marine violated the Fifth Amendment due process clause since it presumed that a pregnant uniformed woman was permanently unfit for duty. Between 1978 and 1980, the Pentagon worked to address the complaint that pregnant service women in civilian maternity attire “undermined morale.” This led to the adoption of military


Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


to warrant officer, she requested and was granted placement on the retired list as a warrant officer.

maternity uniforms. At the height of the Vietnam War, about 2,700 Women Marines had served in stateside and overseas assignments. Until 1966, only 60 women Marines were permitted to serve overseas, and those were mostly stationed in Hawaii. From 1967 to 1973, eight women officers and 28 enlisted women Marines served in Vietnam at different times.

On July 15, 1975, Gen. Louis Wilson, Commandant of the Marine Corps, approved the assignment of women to all occupational fields, except the infantry, artillery, armor, and pilot-aircrew. Women officers were completely integrated into the Basic School program in 1977. In 1978, Col. Margaret Brewer was nominated by President Carter as the first woman Marine General Officer.

In 1972, Sergeants Major Bertha Billeb and William Billeb were the only sergeant major team in the Marine Corps; in 1969, she was the first woman Marine to be promoted to sergeant major. In 1973 she retired at MCB Camp Pendleton as the first woman Marine to complete 30 years’ continuous active duty service. Having previously temporarily promoted

Sgt. Maj. Major Eleanor Judge became Camp Pendleton’s first base woman Sergeant Major in 1980 and the first female to serve as a Sergeant Major for a Marine Corps Base. It would be 29 years later before Sgt. Maj. Ramona D. Cook became the second female to take that post and the last in that position (before the merger of Marine Corps Installations West and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton).

Lance Cpl. Kirstin Rawlins stages her bags on the flight line at Al Asad, Iraq, July 31, before flying to Camp Korean Village, Iraq, to train with 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, and begin her 30-day security cycle in the Lioness Program. (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

The Gulf War in 1990 and 1991 brought more than 1,000 women Marines from around the Corps to deploy to those conflicts. Military women performed a wide range of critical missions in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Marine women served in combat support and service support units ashore. A high number of women Marines search female Iraqi travelers at checkpoints as an act of respect for Iraqi cultural sensitivities. One U.S. Marine officer was quoted to say about the women, “They endured the same living conditions, duties and responsibilities… they performed professionally and without friction or special consideration.” The National Defense Authorization Act for 1992 and 1993 repealed the limits on assigning women to aircraft flying combat missions. In the Persian Gulf, 2,200 women Marines were deployed. Their missions were not involving direct combat with the enemy. One woman Marine escaped injuries from a mine when driving her truck in Kuwait. Four Marine women were awarded the Combat Action Ribbon for having been engaged by and returned fire against bypassed Iraqi troops. But, as Representative Patricia Schroeder of Colorado stated, “We saw that the theater of operations had no strict combat zone that Scud missiles were not gender-specific – they could hit both sexes and, unfortunately, did.” In 1992, Brig. Gen. Carol A. Mutter became the first woman to command a Fleet Marine Force unit at the flag level when she assumed command of the 3rd Force Service Support Group in Okinawa. Later, in 1994, she became the first woman Major General in the Marine Corps, and again in 1996, the first Marine of her gender to serve as Lieutenant General. Ninety-three percent of all occupational fields and 62 percent of all positions were opened to women in 2006. Women accounted for 4.3 percent of all


Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


Marine officers and 5.1 percent of the active duty enlisted force in the Marine Corps. The Pentagon’s 2011 report identified 203,000 women as 14.5% of the active United States active-duty forces. Of these, 14,000 women were serving in the Marine Corps. In December 2015, the Secretary of Defense directed that all MOSs become gender neutral, paving the way for women to serve in any capacity within the Marine Corps. Recent numbers show women serve in 93 percent of all Marine occupational fields and in 62 percent of all billets or jobs. They comprise 7.11 percent of Marine Corps strength. The women Marine who serve in Camp Pendleton-based units have long been trailblazers and have done much to change military culture and to completely immerse themselves in the Marine Corps. Women throughout the Corps are experiencing success in previously closed Marine job fields. June 2016 marked the graduation of the first two women field artillery officers. In April the same year, an officer succeeded in qualifying as the first woman to lead a tank platoon. Camp Pendleton received its first woman graduate with the infantry officer MOS in September 2017; one of the 88 graduates out of 130 to complete the demanding Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course. Of further significance, in March 2018, Camp Pendleton’s School of Infantry – West became the first male-female integrated Marine Combat Training Company on the West Coast. Major General Oscar Peatross once stated in praise of women in the Marine Corps, “You have no obligation to serve in the military. You are not subject to the draft or to any other impetus to serve except your own patriotism and desire to serve your country and fellow man. You must be counted as the most patriotic among the citizens of our nation.”

U.S. Marine Pfc. Savana Anderson steps off the bus to the School of Infantry – West on Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 6, 2018. This marks the first male-female integrated Marine Combat Training company on the West Coast. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Kerstin Roberts, USMC)

11) Article, Pregnant in Uniform, Bethanee Bemis, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, September 26, 2011, blog, http:// americanhistory.si.edu/blog/2011/09/pregnant-in-uniform.html 12) The Few, The Proud, Women Marines in Harm’s Way, by Sara Sheldon, 2007, Praeger Security International

Sources: 1) 1944 reprint of the Oceanside Blade-Tribune Progress Edition, October 25, 1943 2) Article, Fences Come Tumbling Down, Laura Kaufman, Traditions Magazine, May-June 1996 3) Article, Female Marines Killed in Iraq by Suicide Bomber, ABC News, June 24, 2005 4) Article, Women’s Role in Combat: The War Resumes, Jon Nordheimer, New York Times, May 26, 1991 5) Article, Women of the Marine Corps, web site www.usmcu.edu/content/women-marine-corps 6) Women Marines Association web site, www.womenmarines.org/ wm-history 7) Marine Corps History, March 1966, Marine Corps Educational Center, Quantico 8) A History of the Women Marines 1946-1977; by Col Mary V. Stremlow, 1986, History and Museums Division, Washington D.C. 9) Women in U.S. Military during Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Women in the U.S. Navy: Historic Documents, website, https://www.history.navy. mil/browse-by-topic/diversity/women-in-the-navy/during-desert-shielddesert-storm.html 10) The History Channel, Women in the Vietnam War, website, https:// www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war/women-in-the-vietnam-war www.oceansidechamber.com

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


Montezuma Red

LIPSTICK & NAIL POLISH In December 1942, before the public knew the Marines were to enlist women into the Corps, a civilian clothing expert, Anna A. Lentz was asked to design uniforms for the future "Women Reserves". The WRs were activated February 13, 1943; Mrs. Lentz was so impressed she joined and became the very first female sworn-in. The serge forest green uniforms were made out of the same material used for the men and was styled with a man-tailored jacket, a six gore skirt and matching visored bell-crowned hat trimmed with a bright red cord. During this time the Elizabeth Arden Cosmetic Company was asked to research and develop a formula red lipstick and nail polish to match the red cord. Honoring the Marines-the "Halls of Montezuma" became the nucleus to name the new red color -"Montezuma Red" by coordinating with the hat cord and chevrons for the forest green uniforms.

Upon completion of the new WR area at Camp LeJeune, NC, Claire (Weis) Cummings was assigned as Steward of the WR Service Club that had one wing as a beauty salon using all Elizabeth Arden products. Miss Arden, founder and owner of the cosmetic company, came to tour the WR Service Club and salon during the 1943 opening. Source: Book; “Women Marines Association - Volume III”; Turner Publishing Company, Nashville, TN; 2007


Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


Women Marines in Print



Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


FEMARINES ARRIVE From the Pendleton Scout (Nov.1, 1943) Camp Pendleton continues to grow. Just 13 months and one day after the dedication of the world’s largest Marine station, the first contingent of Women Marines have arrived and were immediately assigned to duty. Ninety-three enlisted women and two officers passed through the Pendleton entrance on Tuesday, 26 October, and were given a rousing welcome by the male Leathernecks attached to the camp. A majority of the girls in the United States Marine Corps Womens’ Reserve had just completed “boot camp” training at Camp Lejeune, New River, North Carolina, before being assigned to Pendleton. Shortly after flag raising ceremonies, in which many of the high ranking officer of Pendleton took part, the Women Marines marched in perfect time to the historic Ranch House and then made a tour of the camp. The movie cameras clicked off reel after reel of the first group of Women to enter Pendleton’s gates, and then the female personnel was assigned to their new duties - some in offices, some in Post Exchanges, and other in Motor Transport. Second Lieutenant Marguerite M. Maloney was assigned to duty as Company Commander, Headquarters Company, Women’s Reserve Battalion, and Second Lieutenant Florence L. Harrison, has been named company officer, Headquarters Company, Women’s Reserve Battalion. Major Robert J. Kennedy, has been appointed Supervisor and all matters pertaining to the Commanding Officer, Marine Barracks will pass through him. Congratulations, Woman of the Corps, you have picked the “fightingest” outfit in the world to serve with. May your stay be a long and enjoyable one.


Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


1943-2018 WOMEN MARINES, CMU wishes you continued success in your careers as you follow in the footsteps of 75 years of accomplished women who have proudly served before you at Camp Pendleton.

Thank you from the faculty and staff at Central Michigan University.

» 760-725-0485 » Camp.Pendleton@cmich.edu » cmich.edu/CampPendleton


CMU is an AA/EO institution, providing equal opportunity to all persons, including minorities, females, veterans and individuals with disabilities (see cmich.edu/ocrie). 712854 6/18

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


BEING A FIRST By Nancy Wilt, Women Marine Historian/Curator Women of the Corps Collection, Women Marines Association

Many women while serving as Marines have had the privilege or honor of being “a first” while serving as a Marine. Both the Marines and historians would say,” that they were in the right place at the right time”. After years of researching woman Marine history, I believe that many of these women by their superior work ethic and willingness to succeed with any challenge put before them become “a First”. Some of these “ firsts” have become part of “Marine Lore” and are recorded for posterity and others surface as time goes by.

BEING THE FIRST OF THE FIRSTS Being the first Women Marine in either an occupational field, a Marine assignment or rank is an honor and each” first”, has opened the way for women Marines who would follow. As we approach the 100th Anniversary of the “United States Marine Corps Reserve, Female”, most often referred to as the USMCR(F)s of World War I (WW I), it seems appropriate to bring some of their Marine “firsts” into our view. – Opha May Jacob Johnson the first woman to have been accepted into the USMCR(F) on Aug. 12, 1918 at the Recruiting Station, Washington DC being found in excellent physical condition. Opha was also the first woman processed by a Marine Corps Recruiting Station. (Opha was known to have become frustrated with the typing skills and errors of the young Marine typing her enlistment papers and moved him from behind his desk and proceeded to type the enlistment form herself, crossing out any reference to the word male.) – On Aug. 12, 1918 Opha was the first woman Marine to take a Navy/Marine Corps Physical at the US Navy Dispensary in Washington, D.C. Opha’s USN medical form indicates she was 40 years of age and 64.75 inches tall with

Opha May Johnson (center) with three women Marines attending a luncheon hosted by Col. Katherine Towle, then Director of Women Marines, in Washington, DC, 1946. The woman Marine model, Pfc. Muriel Albert, is wearing Sgt. Opha May Johnson’s World War I uniform. (U. S. Marine Corps photo)


Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


the Music Director and Orchestra Director at the famous Lafayette Theater in Washington, D.C. – Opha May Johnson was the first woman Marine to receive an enlistment package (or perk). She was guaranteed rapid promotion to Sergeant by the Quartermaster General McCawley. – Opha May Johnson became the “first” woman NonCommissioned Officer of the Marine Corps; she was promoted to Sergeant on Sept. 19, 1918. (Twenty-seven other members of the USMCR(F) are known to have obtained the rank of Sergeant, the highest rank women were allowed to hold in WWI) – Opha May Johnson became the first USMCR(F) released from active duty on Feb. 29, 1919. At the personal requests of the Commandant and Quartermaster General McCawley, Sgt. Johnson requested early discharge in order to accept a recently approved senior Civil Service Position at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps (HQMC). Opha was released from the USMCR(F) with no obligation to complete her four year Reserve commitment. She accepted the new position recently approved by Civil Service in the Quartermaster Generals Section and remained a Civil Servant until her retirement. – Opha was the first woman Marine Corps veteran to retire from Civil Service. – Pvt. Lelia Leibrand became the “first” mother to enlist. In

Pvt. Lela Leibrand stands on the wings of a hydroplane at Quantico after taking her first flight. (U. S. Marine Corps photo)

medium brown hair and blue eyes. Her vision was 20/20m in her left eye and 16/20 in her right. Her physical was taken on the standard male medical form with multiple crossed out sections while Opha basically remained fully clothed. – Opha May, as some authors/historians would have us believe “was just lucky enough to be the first woman in line on Aug. 13, 1918”, the first official recruiting day for women to join the USMCR(F). In reality, Pvt. Johnson having been accepted for enlistment by the Corps on August 12 was sworn into the Corps early on Aug. 13, 1918 and then reported to her assigned desk in the Quartermaster Generals Office at HQMC on the morning of Aug. 13, 1918. (What Marines don’t know is that Opha May Jacob Johnson was a new employee of the Office of Quartermaster General McCauley for only a few weeks before General McCauley and CMC offered Opha May Johnson the opportunity to be the first woman to take the oath of a United States Marine and become the first USMCR(F) based on her maturity, professionalism and skills in the administrative field where the majority of the USMCR(F)’s would be working during their enlistments.) – Opha May Johnson holds the position of being the first married Woman Marine in the Corps. She was married to Victor Hugo Johnson, on Dec. 20, 1895. Victor was www.oceansidechamber.com

Cpl. Martha Wilchinski acts as orderly to commander W. S. Anderson of the USS Arizona in North River, New York, ca. 1918. (U. S. Marine Corps photo)

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


order to join the USMCR(F), she legally gave full custody of her daughter to her own mother (for the duration of WWI) which opened the way for Lelia to serve in the Marine Corps. Leila’s daughter was known later to audiences as actress Ginger Rogers. – Pvt. Leibrand is considered the first woman in the Marine Corps to have flown in a Marine Corps aircraft when she flew a training flight at Quantico in January 1919 in a Marine Corps hydroplane. – Cpl. Lelia Leibrand wrote, directed and produced the “first” recruiting movie produced in WW I. The silent film, “All in a Day’s Work”, depicted the daily life of a U.S. Marine with captions telling the story. (no copy is known to exist at this time, but the search quietly continues.) – Cpl. Martha Wilchinski was the “first” woman Marine to visit the Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina while handling a Marine Corps publicity project. The news articles and USMC photographs provide images of Parris Island being a developing base, mostly tents and wooden buildings. A number of years ago, the Women of the Corps Collection (WOCC) purchased Cpl. Wilchinski’s personal box camera that held the WWI film from her trip to Paris Island. Eighteen photographs were recovered off the roll by a team of photographic experts. – Cpl. Wilchinski was the first service women and first woman Marine to board the USS Arizona in 1918; she was hosted by the USS Arizona’s Marine Guard Detachment.

Lt. Col. Martese Thek Ferguson, who served as a woman Marine in both World Wars I and II, is pictured in November 1945. (USMC Photo A412893).

– Pvt. Elizabeth Bertram was the “first” and the only woman recruited and assigned to duty in Denver, Colorado.

– WWI Lady Leatherneck Martrese Thek Ferguson graduated “first” in the first Officers Candidate Course at Mt. Holyoke during WW II.

– Pvt. Elizabeth Bertram is also the “first” woman Marine “to qualify with a weapon; she shot the full course” with Marines at the Denver Police Range. While she “unofficially” qualified, her Commanding, Officer stated she would be added to the roster of Marines going to the official range and he presented her with his personal shooting badge for wear in uniform. WW I ended on Nov. 11, 1918 and Pvt. Bertram never had the chance to fire a Marine course again as she was transferred to the Inactive Reserve.

– WWII Marine Lt. Col. Martrese Thek Ferguson was the "first” Commanding Officer of the Woman’s Battalion at Henderson Hall, Quantico, Virginia, the first “all women” command of the Marine Corps.

Dorothy’s Military Shop

As you can see, “firsts” have been recognized since women became United States Marines. Perhaps the WW I “firsts” seem modest in comparison to becoming the “first” Woman Marine astronaut or the first woman Marine in a Marine Corps infantry battalion but consider the status of women in 1918. In 1918, American women did not have the right to vote in all states; in many states, it was illegal or very difficult for women to inherit money, houses or own land; and working women did not receive adequate or near equal pay or benefits compared to their male counterparts.

Dry Cleaning, Tailoring, Laundry, Name Tapes, Ribbon and Medal Mounting

The ability of American women to step up and serve their country during WW I was significant and their performance being publicly praised as “outstanding service to our nation” during 1917-1919 contributed to the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1919 and its ratification in 1920.

– WW I USMCRF veteran Lillian O’Malley Daly was the “first” USMCRF to re-enlist in 1943 and one of the first eight women to join into the USMCWR in World War II (WW II).

The standard set by the USMCR(F) in 1918 -1919 ensured women a place in the United States Marine Corps, at first only in war but now as an equal part of the Marine Corps team. Each “first” has moved us forward as has the contribution of every woman that has earned the title “Marine”.

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Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


Being a first... A few examples: Col. Margaret Brewer became the first Woman Marine General in 1978 when she was appointed to the rank of BGen by President Jimmy Carter with an approval of the Senate. Brig. Gen. Gail Reals was the first woman selected for promotion to the rank of Brigadier General by the Marine Corps Selection Board in 1985. Chief Warrant Officer Ruth Woods was the first woman promoted to the rank of Warrant Officer. In 1967 1st Lt. Charlene U. Summers (Itchkawich) was the first woman Marine assigned to a US Embassy; she joined the staff of embassy in Manila, Philippines. Lt. Sara Deal became the first woman Marines to earn her wings as a Marine Aviator. Maj. Gen. Carol Mutter, USMC, became the first woman Marine to be promoted to Lieutenant General in 1995. 2nd Lt. Lillian Polatchek became the first woman to lead a Marine tank platoon after being the first female to graduate from the Army’s Armor Basic Officer Leadership Course at the top of her class of 67 Marines and soldiers in April 2017.

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Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


WOMEN Generals

Women Marines passing through Camp Pendleton on their way to General

Women Marine Corps Generals


Reals Mutter Wilson Krusa-Dossin


Garrett Monahan




As of May 2018, there are eleven women that can call themselves generals in the United States Marine Corps and one selected for promotion to Brigadier General who will make 12!

making the highest ranks, breaking the metaphorical “glass ceiling,” are important to recognize and to understand aspects of how they successfully navigated the leadership labyrinth of arguably the most male dominated career in the world.

On the anniversary of the 75th anniversary, it is appropriate to acknowledge the contribution that these women have made to the Marine Corps while serving aboard Camp Pendleton. Their roles and billets they held on their way to

Of the 11 women who have made general to date, nine of them have served aboard Camp Pendleton; however, Brig. Gen. Gail Reals and Lt. Gen. Frances Wilson were never stationed aboard the base. The women that did serve

by Col. Marianne S. Waldrop, USMC (Ret), PhD.



Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


at Camp Pendleton and their billets (job assignment) are provided below: Brig. Gen. Margaret Brewer, an administration officer (MOS 0115) served December 1959 to March 1963 while a captain and major, as the Officer in Charge (OIC), Commissioned Officers’ Mess (Open), Camp Del Mar (Main) and the treasurer of the club system. Lt. Gen. Carol Mutter, a data processing officer (MOS 4002) served January 1968 to April 1972 while a second lieutenant and first lieutenant, at Data Processing Installation-3 (DPI3), Camp Pendleton. It was here that she was augmented as a regular officer from the Reserves. After some time at Quantico, VA, then-Captain Mutter received orders in June 1973 to Marine Corps Tactical System Support Activity (MCTSSA), Camp Pendleton. Over the five years she served there, she held five different billets, married Major James Mutter, and was promoted to Major. Maj. Gen. MaryAnn Krusa-Dossin, then Col. Krusa-Dossin, a career Military Police Officer (MOS 5803), was selected as the Commanding Officer for Security Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton from July 1998 to July 2000 and dual-hatted as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installations, Security, & Safety. Subsequently, the Base Commanding General hand-picked her for Direct or, Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) at Camp Pendleton and she served from July 2000 to July 2002.

Lt. Gen. Lori Reynolds, USMC (Official Marine Corps photo).

Maj. Gen. Angie Salinas, an Adjutant (MOS 0180), served from June 1985 to October 1987 at Camp Pendleton while a captain. She held two billets within 1st Maintenance Battalion, 1st Force Service Support Group (1st FSSG), Adjutant and Commanding Officer (CO) Headquarters & Service Company, and at the conclusion of her tour, she was made Deputy A/CS G-1 for 1st FSSG.

variety of billets including company commander, CSSD HQ Commandant and H&S Bn, 1st FSSG, S-4 and Maintenance Management Officer. Here she was augmented as a regular officer and promoted to 1st Lt. It was not long after leaving the Marine Corps in August 1990, she was mobilized from the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) as a Captain in support of Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm. From January to April 1991, she served as the S-4, Combat Replacement Bn. Subsequently, she joined Selective Marine Corps Reserve (SMCR) and was assigned as the S-4A, and Company Commander within 1st Medical Bn and in 1993 she was assigned as the S-4, Provisional Support Bn.

Maj. Gen. Tracy (Mork) Garrett, a Logistics Officer (MOS 0402), served from April 1979 to June 1981 for her assignment with Headquarters Bn, 1st Marine Division. She held billets as Platoon Commander, G-4, and Asst G-4 Operations Officer. During this time, she was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and had her first child in May 1981. While in the Reserves from October 2002 to August 2004, then Col. (Mork) Garrett served as Commander, 4th FSSG Forward West at Camp Pendleton; from February 2003 to June 2003, she also was assigned as Commander, 1st FSSG (Rear), Camp Pendleton; and from September 2004 to April 2005, she was deployed as the Chief of Staff, Taqaddum, Iraq in support of 1st FSSG Deployed/Main.

Lt. Gen. Lori Reynolds, a Communications Officer (MOS 2502/0602), served on four different occasions at Camp Pendleton, CA. Her first assignment occurred from September 1987 to August 1990, with 1st Marine Division Communications Company, holding a variety of positions within the company, and including Watch Officer, Base Communications Center. As a Captain, she returned to Camp Pendleton from September 1995 to June 1997 to 9th Communications Bn (9th Comm Bn), 1st SRIG, as the Bn S-3A and Company Commander. Her third assignment

Brig. Gen. Marcela Monahan, a Logistics Officer (MOS 0402), served from January 1986 to 1988 in her first assignment with 1st Landing Support Bn, 1st FSSG holding a www.oceansidechamber.com

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


U.S. MARINE CORPS GENERAL FLAGS Commandant and Former Commandants


Lieutenant General

Major General

Brigadier General

from June 2003 to March 2005 had her returning to Camp Pendleton to take command as a lieutenant colonel of the battalion with which she had previously served, 9th Comm Bn. She assumed command of the battalion while they were deployed to Camp Commando, Kuwait, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 1 (OIF 1) and later she deployed with her battalion during OIF 2.1 in Fallujah, Iraq. Her last assignment at Camp Pendleton was from March 2009 to March 2011 when, as Col Reynolds, she commanded I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) Headquarters Group (I MHG), Camp Pendleton. During this assignment she deployed I MHG to Afghanistan in support of I MEF Forward, Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Regional Command Southwest, becoming the first woman to command battlespace in a combat zone.

company executive officer and staff member with multiple jobs deployed in support of Operations Desert Shield/ Desert Storm. Unusual during this time, she served with the Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Service Support Group 13 as the Motor Transport Detachment Commander.

Maj. Gen. Helen Pratt, a Motor Transport Officer (MOS 3502), served one time during her career aboard Camp Pendleton and it was her first Marine Corps assignment. From May 1989 to February 1992, she served with 7th Motor Transport Bn, 1st FSSG, as a platoon commander,

Ten of the twelve women that have achieved the rank of general officer in the United States Marine Corps have passed through the hallowed grounds of Camp Joseph H. Pendleton.

Brig. Gen. Bobbi Shea, a Communications Officer (MOS 0602), as a Colonel, served as Commanding Officer, I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) Headquarters Group until she relinquished command in July 2017. Brig. Gen. (Sel) Lorna Mahlock, an Air Command and Control Officer (MOS 7257), served aboard Camp Pendleton while assigned to MCSSTA, temporarily assigned to support Marine Air Command and Control System-Experimental (MACCS-X) during 2005 - 2006.

Women Marine Corps Generals



Brig. Gen. Margaret Brewer

Active duty

1985-1990 1991-1999 1997-2009 2003-2010 2006-2013 2007-2014 2010-2014 2011-current 2014-current 2017-current 2018-current

Brig. Gen. Gail Reals Lt. Gen. Carol Mutter Lt. Gen. Frances Wilson Maj. Gen. MaryAnn Krusa-Dossin Maj. Gen. Angela Salinas Maj. Gen. Tracy (Mork) Garrett Brig. Gen. Marcela Monahan Lt. Gen. Loretta Reynolds Maj. Gen. Helen Pratt Brig. Gen. Roberta Shea Brig. Gen. (Sel) Lorna Mahlock

Active duty Active duty Active duty Active duty Active duty Reserve Reserve Active duty Reserve Active duty Active duty

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years



Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years



Sgt. Maj., USMC (Ret)

Born on Jan. 1, 1929, Eleanor Judge grew up in Cambridge, Mass. In an interview, she said she was not planning for her future when she joined at age 20, “I remember my friends and I were asked to go to a ball with a few guys we knew who were Marines. We had a great time and we were instantly hooked.” “I joined in 1949 with three other girls whose boyfriends were in the Marines. I really didn’t know what I was getting into.” Eleanor Judge originally enlisted in the Reserve because she happened to be free on Wednesday evenings, the women’s scheduled drill night. She was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Battalion in her hometown of Cambridge as the administration clerk. She fulfilled her training once a month and was paid ten dollars a month. She never went to boot camp. “I was in a reserve unit and we trained so much and went through all the classes, they decided it was not necessary for a lot of us to go.”

to recognize her own daughter until I pointed her out.” From 1964 to 1979, she served at Camp Pendleton, and various duty stations. In 1977 with 27 years of active service as a Regular, she re-enlisted for three more years. In 1980, she was named Sergeant Major of Camp Pendleton, the first woman to hold that post at any Marine base. Serving as both Camp Pendleton’s and the Marine Corps’ first female base sergeant major, Eleanor Judge was the third senior sergeant major Marine Corps-wide. She said she never had problems with male troops. “There is so much talk about harassment, but I never experienced it,” she said. “You just had to tell them who the boss was, and I did.”

After one year of reserve duty, she received a letter calling her up for active duty allowing her only two weeks to report to her duty station. “I reported on August 7 and was sent by troop train on August 14 from Boston to Camp Lejeune. I was in culture shock. I went from living in a loving home, where I was the only girl, to a barracks with 143 women.”

With 31 years of service, Sgt. Maj. Judge retired in 1980, as the base sergeant major of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. It would be another 30 years before a second woman Marine would hold that position.

In 1953, she was given orders to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where she enjoyed the time and did not mind the extra $17 added to her pay.

Judge always felt she was married to the Corps and that the Marine Corps was her family. “The best things in life are not always planned,” she said about her career. “I can’t see my life spent any differently.” Sgt. Maj. Judge remained active with the Women Marines Association. On Feb. 24, 2013, she passed away in Carlsbad, Calif.

She and the other Marines were not allowed to go home on leave unless they were reenlisting or deploying. “I remember spending my first Christmas Eve in Hawaii at the airport. We went to the airport to watch the planes leave knowing we were not going home.”

Sources: 1) “A History of the Women Marines 1946-1977” by Colonel Mary V. Stemlow, History and Museums Division, Washington D. C., 1986 2) Article, The Way We Were –“World War I saw first female Marines” by Lillian Cox, San Diego Union Tribune, June 27, 2004 3) Article, “First Female Base Sergeant Major Passes” by Lance Cpl. Sarah Wolff, March 6, 2013, DVIDS website 4) Article, “Truly, female Marines have come long way” by Gretel C. Kovach Contact Reporter, San Diego Union Tribune, February 10, 2010 5) Article, “Retired Marine Paves Way for Leathernecks Everywhere by LCpl Shannon E. McMillan, Marines Official Website, February 5, 2009

After a year at Norfolk, Va., she received orders to become a recruiter in Pittsburgh, Pa., one of her least favorite duties because she “missed being around Marines.” But her hard work and dedication paid off with orders to Naples, Italy. Her next duty station was Parris Island, S.C. where she served as drill instructor at the Women Marines Reserve Training. This was her favorite duty because she trained and molded women to become Marines. She spoke of one graduation formation in which “a mother was not even able 24

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


In 2009, she took the helm as Base Sergeant Major at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. In 2012, she relinquished her duties as Base Sergeant Major and helped to merge Marine Corps Base and Marine Corps InstallationsWest (MCIWEST), officially serving as the last Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Sergeant Major. She retired in September 2012 after 30 years of honorable service. Besides the numerous military medals decorations she was awarded during her Marine Corps career, Dee was recognized by the Congressional Caucus for Women as the Outstanding Female Marine Staff NCO in 2005. In 2012, she was first enlisted recipient within the Department of Defense to receive the Stars and Stripes award at the 7th Annual Stars and Stripes Dinner, part of the 26th Annual National Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) Science Technology Engineer Math (STEM) Global Competitiveness Conference, recognizing pioneers who have achieved career gains, merited lifetime achievement recognition and have energized their organizations. After retirement from the Marine Corps, she was hired as the Protocol Officer for MCIWEST-MCB Camp Pendleton in 2013. Always seeking self improvement, she attended Park University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management in 2015. In addition to work and school, she served on the Board of Directors and then as the Secretary for the Marines’ Memorial Association (San Francisco) from 2013 - 2017 and also served as the President of the Sergeants Major Association of North San Diego County from 2014-2016. Exceptional, accomplished, and a trailblazer for all Marines, Dee Cook proudly served as a Marine, positively impacting many Marines’ lives and leaving an indelible mark on the Country and Corps. “Those of you that know me or have ever interacted with me know that I’m just regular...I’m a regular person. There is nothing extra special about me other than the fact that I am a Marine. I love being a Marine, and I love what we do.”


Sgt. Maj., USMC (Ret)

Ramona D. “Dee” Cook was born in Los Angeles, Calif. and went to boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C. on Sept. 26, 1982. On Dec. 5, 1982, she became a Marine and departed Parris Island as a Private First Class (PFC). In December 1982, she reported to Marine Corps Communications and Electronics School, 29 Palms, California, and later received her military occupational specialty (MOS) of Aviation Radio Repairer (MOS 5937). Her 30-year career had her traveling across the globe, serving the Country and Marine Corps. From PFC through Sergeant, Dee was stationed at Marine Air Control Squadron 4 (Okinawa, Japan) and Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron 38, Marine Air Control Group 38 (El Toro, California). She was meritoriously promoted to Sergeant and earned a new MOS, Maintenance Management Specialist (MOS 0411). As a Staff Non-Commissioned Officer (Staff NCO), she served with Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division (Camp Pendleton) as a Staff Sergeant. Later promoted to Gunnery Sergeant, she was assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 372 at Camp Pendleton and then attended Drill Instructor School. Dee was a Drill Instructor with Fourth Recruit Training Battalion at Parris Island; other assignments included Senior Drill Instructor, Series Gunnery Sergeant, and Company First Sergeant. Her final assignment as a Gunnery Sergeant was with Marine Air Control Squadron 4 (Okinawa) as Squadron Maintenance Management Chief. As a First Sergeant, she served with Headquarters and Service Battalion, 1st Force Service Support Group and Combat Service Support Detachment 34. She later served as Range Company First Sergeant with Weapons and Field Training Battalion at Camp Pendleton. Promoted to Sergeant Major in 2003, she deployed to Iraq with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; in 2004, she deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Follow on tours as a Sergeant Major included Headquarters and Support Battalion, School of Infantry (Camp Pendleton) and Okinawa, Japan, where she earned a place in Marine Corps history when she took the helm as Director, Staff NCO Academy in Okinawa, she was the first female director at any Marine Corps Staff NCO Academy. www.oceansidechamber.com

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


Women Marine Headlines from Camp Pendleton’s Newspaper

THE PENDLETON SCOUT Founded along with Camp Pendleton in 1942, The Scout newspaper was published weekly and provided items of news and interest aboard the base. In its earlier years photos and article were written by military personnel. It was later published by South Coast Newspapers Inc., which also published the Oceanside Blade Tribune. Both civilian and military writers contributed to the paper’s success. In 1985 The Scout was named the military’s finest commercial enterprise publication and was recognized as the best base newspaper in the Marine Corps. Lt. Col. Carl Morrison, then chief of Camp Pendleton’s Joint Public Affairs Office, called the paper’s selection for the Thomas Jefferson Award “just like winning a Pulitzer Prize.”


Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years





Honoring the commitment of our troops and their families

It takes special people to dedicate themselves to serving their country, and we appreciate the commitment of our troops at home and overseas — and their families who support them. We proudly salute all women in the U.S. Marine Corps past and present.

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Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years



Lt. Col., USMC (Ret)

One of her more lighthearted memories of this tour at Camp Pendleton was a short trip to Catalina Island onboard the Landing Ship, Tank (LST) Tioga County, escorting a squad of women Marines who were invited to accompany male Marines preparing for shipping out to Vietnam. On this trip, she and 1st Lt. Ellen Laws wore their pin striped dress uniform, while the enlisted were more appropriately dressed in utility uniforms. When they arrived on Catalina Island the LST dropped its ramp on the shore; Bowden and Laws were challenged, exiting in their pumps down the ramp but, with several of the young ladies on either side of them holding their arms for support; after a precarious offload, they made it to shore for a jeep ride into the town center and a USO sponsored picnic.

Lt. Col. Elaine Bowden, USMC (Ret) served over 20 years (1966-1987) as an Administrative Officer (MOS 0130) of which almost five years was spent aboard Camp Pendleton, including two tours and a short temporary assignment. Her first assignment was aboard Camp Pendleton from January 1967 to August 1969. Bowden reported for duty to the Marine Corps Base (MCB) Adjutant, Camp Pendleton, where she was assigned as Officer in Charge (OIC) of Sensitive and Classified (S&C) Files, responsible for all aspects of safeguarding classified material for the base. She recalls that her original office was in the Base Headquarters located in the 24 Area but was moved during her tenure to its current location in the concrete building located Mainside where it now resides.

It was not until July 1975, as a Captain at Twentynine Palms, Calif. that she would again see Camp Pendleton, this time temporarily assigned as Administrative Officer for the Military Coordination Center supporting Operation New Arrival, the relocation of the Vietnamese refugees to Camp Pendleton. Although not a long assignment, it was certainly one of which she has lasting memories. She remembers, “Seeing those miles and miles of tents and the people that had been relocated due to the end of the Vietnam conflict was daunting and probably something I will not forget.”

She recounted how times were different then for women Marines, than now. In those days, there were separate administrative units to which women Marines reported. She remembered standing duty with the Woman Marine Company that was commanded by Captain Mary Sue League. The company office was housed in two story wooden buildings in which the enlisted women Marines lived. She vividly remembers walking the wooden stairs and floors at night trying not to awaken the women with those creaky floors. She also remembered the women Marine club fondly referred to as “The Green Hat Club”. It was in a quonset hut just up the hill from the women Marines barracks.

Bowden again served aboard Camp Pendleton in 1981 where as a major, she assumed the duty of the Base Adjutant under the command of Maj. Gen. K. L. Robinson, reporting into the same building as she had served in the late 1960s. In addition to serving as Base Adjutant, she was assigned positions as Staff Secretary, Assistant Manpower Director and had responsibility for the Postal Office and Base Reproduction office. It was exciting times for her as there was a lot of new construction and changes happening; but in these capacities, she recalls having had some of the most wonderful troops and civilians with which she had ever worked. In fact it probably was “my favorite billet”, one in which Maj. Gen. Robinson promoted her to lieutenant colonel. Her career would not end here, several months later in June 1983, she transferred to III Marine Amphibious Force, the predecessor to Marine Expeditionary Force, in Okinawa and became the first woman to hold the position of G-1 Officer for III MAF.

After a little over a year as the OIC for classified material, she requested an assignment in her field performing duties within her military occupational specialty, Administration, and was reassigned to the Communication & Electronics School administrative office located in the Camp Del Mar area right along the ocean. During this period at Camp Pendleton, she specifically recalled her promotion to first lieutenant when Lt. Col. Jeannette Sustad, then the G-1, MCB Camp Pendleton and the soonto-be Director of Women Marines, pinned on her silver bars and accompanied her and a few other women Marines to the Officer’s Club for a celebratory lunch. 28

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years

Ultimately, in 1987, after serving as the Executive Officer, Marine Corps Communications and Electronic School at Twentynine Palms, Calif, Lt. Col. Elaine Bowden retired. Source: Lt. Col. Elaine Bowden, USMC (Ret)


Daisy (Hersey) Orr Lance Cpl., USMC; veteran Marine; supply clerk at Camp Pendleton from 1959-to 1961; 1961 Camp Pendleton Rodeo Queen. Shown here with the trophies awarded at the 1961 Navy Relief Rodeo. (Photo courtesy of Daisy Orr)

1st Marine Division

First Female Judge Advocate Colonel Patricia F. Halsey-Munroe, USMC (Ret), Served 1974-2001 First female Judge Advocate in the 1st Marine Division, 1976-1981. Name: Patricia F. Halsey-Munroe Rank: Colonel MOS: 4402, Judge Advocate Status: Retired Years at Pendleton: 1976-1981 Unit(s): 1st Marine Division Additional: U.S. Marine Corps, Judge Advocate, Active Duty 1974-83. Received Leadership Award, Molly Marine Award, & meritorious, regular commission as Honor Graduate from The Basic School (TBS). Head Legal Assistance Branch, Judge Advocate Division, Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and managed Legal Assistance Program for USMC, world-wide. Rated number one Trial Counsel/Prosecutor in 1st Marine Division at a time when her caseload was second largest ever in Department of Defense (DoD). www.oceansidechamber.com

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


KATHLEEN ABLES Maj., USMC (Ret) During my twenty year career, as an Administrative Officer (0180), I was stationed with my Marine husband, Chuck, at Camp Pendleton from July 1981 to June 1983. I held three different billets while assigned to 1st Force Service Support Group (1st FSSG). I served as Executive Officer, Headquarters and Service Battalion, Assistant G-1 (Administration), and finally as the 1st FSSG Personnel Officer. Interestingly enough, as the assistant G-1, I worked for Lt. Col. Charlene Itchkawich, a longtime Oceanside resident and these so many years later, we are both active members of Women Marines Association (WMA) Chapter CA-7 in Oceanside CA.

Maj. Ables retirement, 1987

some interesting “firsts” for women. Some have said that in 1971, my husband and I were the first dual military couple to attend as students in the Amphibious Warfare School at Quantico, VA. Later, in 1975 at Twentynine Palms, CA, I was sent to Headquarters and Service Battalion (H&S Bn) and became a company commander, first commanding Service Company, and subsequently, Headquarters Company. This was after the Women Marine companies had been disestablished. According to the woman Marine history monograph, I was the first woman commander of a mixed gender company since Word War II.

A memorable moment during my tour with 1st FSSG, occurred as a result of a change of command. To assist in preparing the incoming Commanding General for command, I was selected as the G-1 “briefing” officer. A significant topic for his action included a concern within the group regarding the personnel assignment policy for exercises and deployments. The existing policy prohibited women Marines from assignment to the units participating in the exercises or deployments. This policy created frustration amongst Marines and manpower problems for units. Frustration for male Marines because they were always away from home and for women Marines because the policy denied them the operational experiences they needed to be competitive with their peers. I was able to raise the issue with the incoming Commanding General during his in-brief. The general’s immediate response was that the policy ended that moment!

My husband, Chuck, contributed largely to my success. He was my boyfriend, mentor and husband. He taught me an abundance of Marine Corps and life lessons that made all the difference in my performance as a Marine. Chuck and I are residents of Carlsbad, CA and have just celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary and are the proud parents of two extraordinary women. As a long time member of the Women Marines Association CA-7 Chapter, I have just assumed the office of Chapter President for term 2018-2020.

I am proud of my accomplishments during my career, which spanned from 1967-1987, which proved to be an interesting time for regulations and policies governing service of women in the Marine Corps. I believe my career may have included 30

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


Angelina (Fusckino) Stambough Pfc., USMC; veteran Marine; radio operator at Camp Pendleton from 1954 to 1955. Shown here studying the “Guidebook for Marines” in the women Marines’ barracks, 1954 (Photo courtesy of Angie Stambough)



Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


Directors of Women Marines The position of Director of Women Marines was technically considered an advisory role; the Director was a member of the Commandant of the Marnie Corps’ staff and was directly involved in recruiting, training, uniforming, and assigning women Marines. According to the Marine Corps Manual, “The Director of Women Marines advises the Commandant and staff agencies on all matters of policy and procedure concerning women in the Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve”. The following women Marine Officers were assigned the position of Director from 1948 through 1977:

Col. Katherine A. Towle Col. Julia E. Hamblet

18 October 1948 - 1 May 1953 1 May 1953 - 2 March 1959

Col. Margaret M. Henderson 2 March 1959 - 3 January 1964 Col. Barbara J. Bishop Col. Jeanette I. Sustad Col. Margaret A. Brewer

3 January 1964 - 31 January 1969 31 January 1969 - 31 January 1973 31 January 1973 - 30 June 1977

Note: Bolded = was stationed at Camp Pendleton during their Marine Corps career

Col. Margaret A. Brewer


Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


Sgt. Maj. Grace A. Carle

Sergeants Major of Women Marines In April 1960, three Women Marine sergeants major billets were designated, one of which was marked for the senior enlisted woman in the office of the Director of Women Marines. This experienced staff noncommissioned officer, through close liaison with enlisted women Marines in the field, could provide the Director with valuable insights which would help in the development of meaningful policies concerning women Marines. The following women Sergeants Major were assigned the position of Sergeant Major of Women Marines from 1961 through 1976: Sgt. Maj. Bertha L. Peters (Billeb) Sgt. Maj. Evelyn E. Albert Sgt. Maj. Ouida W. Craddock

18 January 1961 - 13 November 1963 13 November 1963 - 1 December 1966 1 December 1966 - 1 August 1969

Sgt. Maj. Mabel A. R. Otten

1 August 1969 - 30 April 1972

Sgt. Maj. June V. Andler

30 April 1972 - 30 April 1974

Sgt. Maj. Grace A. Carle

30 April 1974 - 30 October 1976

Note: Bolded = was stationed at Camp Pendleton during their Marine Corps career Source: A History of the Women Marines, 1946-1977; Colonel Mary V. Stremlow, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve; History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, D.C.; 1986


Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years



Staff Sgt., USMC

I am Staff Sgt. Hillary Aguirre, I am the Intelligence Chief at HMLA169, the “World Famous Vipers” and I love my Marine Corps. I was born in San Turce, Puerto Rico and grew up in Tampa, Florida with my grandparents. Dec 2017 Hillary Aguirre promotion to Staff Sgt. at HLMAI am the oldest 169 at MCAS Camp Pendleton out of seven. My grandfather retired from the Army as a first sergeant in an artillery unit and was awarded a Purple Heart. My grandparents were my inspiration. As a kid, we used to go to MacDill Air Force Base weekly to shop at the commissary and I would always salute the gate guards from the back seat. I never in my wildest dreams would have thought that I’d be in the military much less a Marine.

amazing role models and motivated me to join the Marine Corps. Throughout high school, my enlistment process, and boot camp, I had amazing leaders who always set the example and cared for their mentees.

Later as a teenager I lived with my mom and switched high schools where I started in a Marine Corps Junior ROTC program as an elective. My instructors Maj. Wayne F. Blankenship and Gunnery Sgt. Robert E. Hess; both were

I only hope to be as great as the leaders who came before me and serve the Marines. I hope to inspire and support Marines to not just meet their goals but to exceed them, to become the next Commandant, sergeant major, CEO, best parent, follow their hearts to happiness, etc.

It was a bright and sunny May morning in 2012 when I rolled in through the front gate of Camp Pendleton to checkin to 1st Marine Division G-2 (Intelligence Section). I was nervous with millions of ideas of what the mysterious fleet life would be like. Being around NCOs, SNCOs, and officers was a surreal experience. I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to be one of them, to wear the blood stripe, to bear the weight of a rocker, to lead Marines. Despite all the anxious feelings, all I ever wanted was to be a Marine and I was ready to work hard and overcome all challenges. My mentors: Master Gunnery Sgt. Stephen Lowe and 1st Lt. Silvia Haas have been blessings and have always believed in me and pushed me to my limits. I was promoted to corporal in front of the iconic 1st Marine Division Blue Diamond, a milestone that was once only a dream. With the support of my family, my mentors, and my Marines, several years later I would return to Camp Pendleton to have the honor to be a staff sergeant in the Marine Corps.

Harriet (Harley) Taber; Pfc., USMC; veteran Marine; was a photographer with the Camp Pendleton Base Photo Lab from 1954 to 1955. Shown here in uniform at Camp Pendleton in 1954.

(Photo courtesy of Harriet Taber)

(Photo courtesy of Harriet (Harley) Taber)


Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years

“Bunk buddy” on a bed in the 24 Area women Marines barracks at Camp Pendleton, 1954.



Celebrating the 75th Anniversary 75th Anniversary of Women Aboard of Women Aboard Camp Pendleton Camp Pendleton

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VELANDA K. JOYNER Sgt. Maj., USMC (Ret) In March 1984, she transferred to Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC for Drill Instructor Duty. During this tour, Staff Sgt. Milton was selected as the Depot Drill Instructor of the Year and meritoriously promoted to Gunnery Sergeant. She and her family were also selected as nominees of Military Family of the Year. In June 1989, Gunnery Sgt. Milton transferred to Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron 38, 3rd Marine Air Wing, Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, Calif. While there, she deployed in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. She was married in 1991. At El Toro, Gunnery Sgt. Joyner attended the Advance Course and was selected by her fellow students as the recipient of the

Gunnery Sgt. Velanda (Milton) Joyner at Camp 15 in Saudi Arabia, deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield, 1991. (Photo courtesy of Sgt. Maj. Velanda Joyner, USMC (Ret))

Velanda K. Milton enlisted in the Marine Corps in April 1976 and entered recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina in August 1976. Upon graduation from recruit training in October 1976, she was selected as the platoon Molly Marine and meritoriously promoted to Private First Class. She attended Basic Supply Stock Control School at Camp Johnson (Camp Lejeune, NC). She graduated in December 1976 and reported to Operations Education Command, Quantico, VA working as a Supply Administrations Operations Clerk. While at Quantico, she was promoted to Lance Corporal, Corporal, and Sergeant.

Leadership Award. She selected to be the Supply Administration Monitor (MOS 3043) at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps in Washington, DC and transferred there in July 1992, monitoring over 5,000 Supply Marines. During this headquarters tour, she completed her Associates of Arts Degree and was selected to First Sergeant. 1st Sgt. Joyner was promoted in November 1994 and joined Electronics Maintenance Company, 1st Maintenance Battalion, 1st Force Service Support Group at Camp

In 1980, she reenlisted and transferred to the InspectorInstructor Staff at San Antonio, Texas and worked as the Supply Administration Clerk until 1983. She then reported to Headquarters and Service Battalion, 3rd Force Service Support Group, Camp Kinser, Okinawa, Japan for duty with the Supply Maintenance Analysis Team; she was promoted to Staff Sergeant in September 1983.

Pendleton as Company First Sergeant. She completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in July 1996 as Magna Cum Laude with Park College. In 1997, she was selected for promotion to sergeant major. On June 30, 1997, she was promoted to sergeant major and transferred to 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd FSSG, Camp Hansen, Okinawa. She received the Outstanding Volunteer Service medal for her work with Special Olympics and other volunteer programs. Upon return to the United States in July 1998, Sgt Maj. Joyner was assigned as Sergeant Major, Headquarters and Support Battalion, School of Infantry. She completed her Masters Degree in Education Administration with Central Michigan University in August 1998.

After a tour in Okinawa, she transferred to Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego for duty as the S-4/Supply Admin Chief. While there, she completed the Staff NCO Career Course. She adopted her two sons and later she and her family were chosen to represent the Recruit Depot as the Military Family of the Year. She was also chosen as the Military Woman of the Year by the Navy League. 36

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


Women Marines in the News

Women Marines Association CA-2

San Diego County Charter since Aug. 6, 1964


Kassandra Jay Wurts President Angelique Murray Vice President

Celebrating years

1943 - 2018

Service of Women Marines Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Mani Santos Secretary

Above: U.S. Marine Pfc. Savana Anderson steps off the bus to the School of Infantry - West on Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 6, 2018 marking the first male-female integrated combat training company on the West Coast. U.S.M.C. photo by Pfc. Kerstin Roberts. Left: Officers and members of the CA-2 Chapter ranging in age from 102-years old to the young trailblazers.

Michele Kramek Treasurer www.sandiegowomenmarines.org @SanDiegoCountyWMA

ca2@womenmarinesorg www.oceansidechamber.com

Supporting & Empowering the Present and Always Trailblazing the Future

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years



Chief Warrant Officer 2, USMC (Ret) women Marine MPs in 1st Marine Division when she was there (1978-1982). She was one of the first women to complete Los Angeles SWAT training as a member of the military police force aboard Camp Pendleton in preparation for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Besides her primary MOS experience, she was a graduate of the Corporal’s Course and a 1985 graduate of Career Planner School. In 1990, she became the first woman Warrant Officer Corrections Officer in the Marine Corps. She retired as a chief warrant officer at the Camp Pendleton Base Brig after 20 years of service and remained in service while her husband, Joe, continued to serve until his retirement in 2001. With talent and skills in volleyball, she was a member on the All Marine Volleyball team (five times) and once on the All Services Volleyball teams in the late-1970s and 1980s. She was also on the All Marine and All Services Volleyball teams in 1997. Mani Montoya and her husband, Joe, were married at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C. in 1983. Her husband, Master Sgt. Joe Santos, retired from the Marine Corps in 2001. The Santos’ happily returned to Oceanside after they both retired from the Corps. Because of her passion for sports and coaching, Mani found ways to continue doing what she loved – Mani served as a men’s and women’s volleyball coach at El Camino High Coach for both varsity and junior varsity teams from 2001-2014. Mani also supported the active duty male Marines’ Volleyball team as a volunteer coach from 2010-2012. She was integral in the 2011-2013 San Diego & Oceanside Starlings Volleyball program which supported underserved girls. She lent her hand to a variety of clubs within the community throughout the years as an expert in fundraising.

“”Mani” Santos at Camp Pendleton (photo courtesy of Mani Santos)

Manuela “Mani” (Montoya) Santos is originally from Las Cruces, New Mexico. Although Mani’s 20-year Marine Corps career is remarkable, she also served with two other siblings who were Marines. Her sister, CWO3 Cecil Seiner, USMC served in airfield operations and her brother, Michael was a TOW Gunner, MOS 0352, from 1975-1980. Their careers all intersected in 1980 when all three were in the Corps at the same time.

Mani can be found helping Marines through H&R Block aboard Camp Pendleton. She is a perfect example of how our Marines can become a force multiplier in Oceanside following an exemplary Marine Corps career.

Mani began her Marine Corps career as a military policeman (MP), MOS 5811, and believes she was one of first three 38

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


Lillian “Lee” (Bailey) Tusa Cpl. USMC; veteran Marine; legal clerk at Camp Pendleton from 1952 to 1954. Shown here modeling a new woman Marines’ uniform at Camp Pendleton, 1953 (US Marine Corps photo)


1943 - 2018

Service of Women Marines Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Edith Macias Vann Women Marines Association CA-7 Officers Kathleen Ables President

1918 - 2018

Women serving in the United States Marine Corps www.womenmarines.net www.facebook.com/wmasocalca7/ Facebook @wmasocalca7 ca7@womenmarines.org Meetings held the second Saturday of each month


Brenda Hockenhull Vice President Mary Anthony Secretary Lillian Cross Treasurer

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years



Chief Warrant Officer 5, USMC (Ret) Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CWO-5) Mary E. Gibbs entered the Marine Corps on 6 February 1974. Upon completion of recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C., Private Gibbs was assigned to administrative school, and upon completion was assigned the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 0131, Unit Diary Clerk. In June 1974, Private Gibbs reported to Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, Calif. for duty with Casual Company. In October 1975, then she returned to Parris Island for duty as a drill instructor. Sgt. Gibbs was one of five women selected to attend drill instructor school with male Marines. Upon completion of training, Sgt. Gibbs reported to Woman Recruit Training Command for duty. After training 13 platoons totaling hundreds of recruits, then Staff Sgt. Gibbs reported for duty with 3rd Force Service Support Group, Okinawa, Japan, and served as the Adjutant Administrative Chief. While assigned there, she applied for and was selected to attend the Fiscal Year 1980 Warrant Officer class.

Arabia to the Gulf War. After serving six months in Saudi Arabia, she returned to Camp Pendleton and assumed duties as Personnel Officer for 1st Surveillance Reconnaissance Intelligence Group. During this tour, it was decided that a consolidated administrative group would be implemented; administration for each battalion within the 1st FSSG would be done in one central location named Group Personnel Administration Center (GPAC). Chief Warrant Officer Gibbs became the first Officer-in-Charge of GPAC.

After completion of The Basic School in 1981, Warrant Officer Gibbs reported for duty as the Personnel Officer, 7th Motor Transport Battalion, 1st Force Service Support Group (1st FSSG), Camp Pendleton, Calif. Another assignment aboard Camp Pendleton included a tour of duty with 7th Engineer Support Battalion.

In the mid-90s, Chief Warrant Officer Gibbs was responsible for managing the consolidation of administration for all 1st FSSG battalions in one central location and creating the Group Personnel Administration Center (1st FSSG GPAC); Chief Warrant Officer Gibbs became the first Officer-inCharge.

Chief Warrant Officer Gibbs transferred from Camp Pendleton in 1984, and reported to Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, 29 Palms, Calif. for duty as personnel officer. Upon completion of a four-year tour, she headed to Marine Barracks, Yokosuka, Japan. In addition to duties as the Barrack’s Adjutant/Personnel Officer, Chief Warrant Officer Gibbs also served as liaison with officials at the Kurihama Prison where offenders, from throughout Japan, were incarcerated.

In 2000, Chief Warrant Officer Gibbs was reassigned to Headquarters and Service Battalion, Camp Pendleton for administrative purposes while assigned as Assistant OIC of Marine Corps Administrative Analysis Team-West. In her capacity as an administrative analyst, she traveled to all Marine Corps units west of the Mississippi to measure the effectiveness of administrative procedures to ensure Marines and their dependents were receiving outstanding support. Chief Warrant Officer Gibbs ended a long and illustrative career at Camp Pendleton when she retired with 30 years of service in 2004.

Chief Warrant Officer Gibbs returned to CONUS in August 1990 for duty with the 1st FSSG and was assigned to the Group Personnel Office and immediately deployed to Saudi 40

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


Sandra Torres-Pintos Sgt. Maj., USMC (Ret); was an aviation precision measurement equipment/ calibration and repair technician at MCAS Camp Pendleton from 1992 to 1994. Shown here with husband, 1st Sgt. William Pintos, USMC (Ret) and daughter, Capt. Dorinda Pintos, USMC. (Photo courtesy of Sandra Torres-Pintos)

Celebrating your contributions to Camp Pendleton’s history for the past 75 years.... and ready to preserve your current achievements for future generations. CPHS supports: • • • • • •

Camp Pendleton History Museum Branch Santa Margarita Ranch House Mechanized Museum Las Flores Adobe Educational speakers Unit histories and much more

Do you want to know more about CPHS? Check out our website for information on how to get involved or donate: www.camppendletonhistoricalsociety.org www.facebook.com/camppendletonhistoricalsociety/

To schedule a speaker on Camp Pendleton history contact us at: cphs.speakers@gmail.com www.oceansidechamber.com

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years



Cpl. Biggers in dress blues at the Headquarters Bn, MCB Camp Pendleton 1987 Birthday Ball at then-Staff NCO club.

Sgt., USMC I enlisted in my hometown of Detroit in March 1985 and immediately was on my way to Parris Island, S.C. for boot camp. A trained Ground Radio Repairman (MOS 2841), I arrived aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif. in October 1987, assigned to the Fleet Communication Electronics Office (FCEO), Headquarters Bn. I lived in the Woman Marine barracks, Building 1398, for three years. During my tour, I served with both Radio Platoon and Sound Platoon. Radio Platoon was responsible for ordering, installing and repairing communication equipment for the fire department and military police. That included the console that the dispatcher used, the two remote accesses for the entire base, and radio equipment in the vehicles. If you were the emergency duty on call, you carried a pager for a week and responded ASAP whenever a problem occurred, particularly for 911 dispatchers.

In February 1989, I was promoted to sergeant and attended the Noncommissioned Officers (NCO) Basic Course, Class 4-90, graduating in March 1990. My End of Active service (EAS) date arrived and I was honorably discharged on May 1, 1991.

Sound Platoon was responsible for setting up the PA systems for various ceremonies. We also install and repair intercoms systems throughout the base. Our platoon was responsible for any large events hosted at the 11 Area parade deck.

As I look back, I am so happy to have earned the Eagle, Globe & Anchor (EGA) and to have become a Marine. I remain active in the Women Marines Association CA-7 Chapter in North County San Diego, CA.

Eileen (Callaghan) Malik Lt. Col., USMC (Ret); was a motor transport and logistics officer; served five tours at Camp Pendleton between 1987 and 2009 in positions from platoon commander and staff officer to executive officer and commanding officer. (Photo courtesy of Col. Jay Malik, USMC (Ret))


Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


San LuiS R ey BakeRy & R eStauR ant CeLeBR ateS 50th a nniveRSaRy

Photos Courtesy San Luis Rey Bakery

by Eduardo Mendoza This year, a long time Oceanside favorite San Luis Rey Bakery & Restaurant, known for their amazing baked goods, authentic Mexican food, and tantalizing cakes, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Their historic venue at 490 N. El Camino Real was built in the late 1800s, right next to the Old Mission San Luis Rey. Since 2007 it’s been owned and operated by the Mendoza family, who continue to serve the delicious food the bakery and restaurant were known for, while striving for something greater. “When our customers walk through our doors, we want them see all the colors, to smell the freshly baked bread, to taste the flavors in our food,” says proud owner Saula Mendoza. www.oceansidechamber.com

“We want them to think, ‘Wow, it’s like I’m in a little piece of Mexico.’ Delicious original recipes made from the freshest local products along with the family-friendly vibe of the owners, are a few of the main reasons for its success. All of the sauces and special Mexican drinks are house recipes, prepared daily, and all of their meats are marinated in house.

The delicious food is made to order, with the freshest and local products.

Bread and pastries are made from scratch each morning by the owner and bakers, with little to no help from machines. They love to do cakes “made to order” for weddings,

quinceañeras ...you name it, filling and icing are whipped in as well as anything else. They also love to share their baked goods with local coffee shops and restaurants in North County as a wholesale provider. The Mendoza family gives back to the Oceanside community, supporting city events, school fundraising and nonprofit organizations. Many of their customers speak of having gone there as a child, or how their parents got their wedding cake there, or how they visited after school as teenagers. Now they are bringing their grandchildren. The Mendoza’s 50th year is a big one, with new flavors, new experiences, a new vision, but the same strong roots, and San Luis Rey Bakery & Restaurant is as delicious and flavorful as ever.

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years



Gunnery Sgt., USMC (Ret) first assignment, she became a competitive marksman, participated in the Marine Corps program and holds the distinction as the first school trained female Primary Marksmanship Instructor at WTBn, CamPen. She continued participating competitively, both overseas and stateside, throughout her career. Versatile, she qualified and served as a Drill Instructor, received jump qualification through Airborne School, Fort Benning, Georgia (things not every woman of the time was cut out for or even had the opportunity to do).

Gunnery Sgt. Cogburn in the 1st FSSG Command Post in Kuwait

While at Camp Pendleton, Gunnery Sgt. Cogburn served in some very unique billets: Inspector of the Base Drug and Alcohol Program in the late 90s, coordinator for the 1st FSSG Character Based Leadership Program in the early 2000s, and deployed in 2002 at the outset of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the Commanding General (CG), 1st FSSG, to Kuwait as the CG’s Secretary. Retired since 2003, Barbara Cogburn has lived in Fire Mountain area of Oceanside for over 25 years and continues to give back the veteran community. She is a board member of a nonprofit, VetCTAP, a Career Transition Assistance Program for veterans, and one with which she has volunteered since its inception. She is fortunate to combine her passion for traveling with her second career with Franklin Covey, where she is a Senior Consultant for Government Services, USA. She is actively involved with the local Women Marines Association chapter, CA-7. She spends the beginning of each year in Oahu with some of her dear friends from WMA and attends the biennial WMA conventions.

Gunnery Sgt. Barbara A. Cogburn certainly served our Corps honorably and in some most interesting capacities for women of her time, joining in 1983 and retiring after 20 years while at 1st Force Service Support Group (1st FSSG) in 2003. She served aboard Camp Pendleton for over 13 years of those years; serving in four different commands aboard Camp Pendleton: Weapons Training Battalion (WTBn), Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Edson Range; Headquarters and Service Battalion (H&S Bn), 1st FSSG; H&S Bn, Marine Corps Base (MCB), Camp Pendleton (CamPen); and Security Battalion, MCB, CamPen. Holding the military occupational specialty of Food Service Specialist, 3381, she found herself serving in a variety of billets within H&S Bn, 1st FSSG, on three different occasions.

Each year a group of her Marine friends and family travel to a Marine Corps Ball to celebrate the birthday and spend time together. The retiree ball held yearly in Las Vegas is one of their favorites. This year they are starting a new tradition with a trip to Normandy, France where a group of them will celebrate the Marine Corps Birthday at the Normandy Cemetery and attend the Labor Day celebration. Her other passions are cooking for family and friends, attending concerts and relaxing on her front patio in the California sunshine.

Although an interesting aspect of her career, there are more remarkable aspects of Gunnery Sgt. Cogburn’s career. She made the most of her opportunities and excelled at some very non-traditional military functions. From the outset of her career, she discovered her passion and skill as a marksman. While assigned to WTBn during her


Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years



Pfc., USMC

My husband Robert spent eight years in the Marine Corps and after he was discharged, he worked for the General Telephone Company in California and retired after 25 years with General Telephone. We have three wonderful children, six grandchildren and four great grandchildren. I worked for the Bank of America for 17 years. We currently live in Yucca Valley, Calif. We are members of the Women Marine Association (WMA Chapter in 29 Palms, Calif. Bob and I are members of an all Marine Corps Honor Guard, Semper Fi 1 (for 16 years) at the Riverside California National cemetery, rendering full military honors for all branches of the military.

Upon graduation from high school, I joined the Marine Corps on June 15, 1956. I reported to Parris Island, S.C. for recruit training. After recruit training I was transferred to the Woman Marine Company, Camp Pendleton, Calif. When I reported in I was immediately assigned to 30 day mess duty and then assigned to the G-2 Section (Intel) working for Col. James Ferguson. Months later I was assigned to Headquarters Company, Headquarters Battalion and worked as a typist and file clerk for Master Sgt. Fowler. On April 12, 1957, I met Cpl. Robert Shirey at the Green Hat Club, which was the women Marine’s club on Camp Pendleton. We dated and spent a lot of our spare time on the beaches of Oceanside and Carlsbad, Calif. On April 3, 1958, we were married at the Ranch House Chapel on the base by Navy Chaplain CAPT E.H. Arndt. www.oceansidechamber.com

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years



Sgt., USMC


Staff Sgt., USMC

Staff Sgt. Jane Cook (left) and Sgt. Maria Franco taking part in Exercise Bright Star ’87 in Egypt (US Marine Corps photo)”

deal because previously women Marines had not been allowed to participate in an international joint service exercise overseas. Additionally Staff Sgt. Cook remembers, “We were not allowed to travel in uniform. The women had to wear a long skirt heading over, but we were able to wear our uniform home. My situation as a spouse of a Marine and as a USMC augmentee made a lot of press.”

Sgt. Maria Franco, USMC, a veteran of over 11 years, served both in the active and reserve forces from 1980-1991. During her active duty service (1980-1984), she served initially as a MOS 4034, Computer Operator, and later transitioned to a MOS 0151, Administrative Clerk.

Sgt. Franco considered this is opportunity to deploy in support of an overseas exercise more inviting than the standard fare of annual training. She willingly took three weeks off from her job in San Diego (without pay) to take this opportunity to experience the Arab culture while in a field environment. Although these were ground breaking opportunities for women in the Corps, she recalls that she was treated fairly, both as a woman and as a Reserve Marine.

Some of her fondest memories were in support of I Marine Amphibious Force (I MAF) Commander’s staff as a Reserve Marine MOS 0151 (Administrative Clerk) from 1985 to 1988. Her Reserve commitment predictably involved annual drill (training) at Marine Corps Air/Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, CA, or at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton. Most noteworthy was an opportunity that she and another female Marine reservist, Staff Sgt. Jane Cook, had in 1987. They both embarked on a new opportunity through fulfilling their annual active-duty training obligation by participating in Exercise Bright Star, in El Hamman, Egypt.

Maria Franco recalls her service in the Marine Corps and at Camp Pendleton with tremendous satisfaction. She said, “I wanted to express that my time in the Marine Corps was the best time of my life. I have never found another organization that valued its members as much as the Marine Corps. The teamwork and connection is unmatched.”

Staff Sgt. Jane (Cook) Strand recalled that their (Cook and Franco) participation in Bright Star 1987 was a pretty big

Kara Morin Master Sgt., USMC (Ret); was a personnel/administrative chief and military occupational specialty instructor; served two tours at Camp Pendleton between 1985-1990 and 1994-2004. (Photo courtesy of Kara Morin)


Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


Pacific Marine Credit Union O’side Turkey Trot 5k/10k Run/Walk and Senior/Kid’s 1 Mile Benefits North County Schools and Move Your Feet Before You Eat Foundation® OCEANSIDE, CA – On Thanksgiving Day, all of north county celebrates 13 years of running and walking in beautiful downtown Oceanside and along the strand. The trot has been recognized as one of the top trots in the country for 3 of the last 12 years by the LA Times and Runner’s World Magazine. Pacific Marine Credit Union has not only been the Title Sponsor but also and a driving force behind what has become everyone’s favorite healthy holiday tradition. The event, which has raised more than $310,000 over the past 12 years provides live entertainment, finish line medals, beautiful custom blend shirts and free finisher photo to all participants. Unique to the Oceanside Trot is a special division for Oceanside resident age group athletes called the Locals Division. Participants get to race against their neighbors and visitors from outside the city get to race against themselves. Awards are given for the top three in each 5-year age group. One of the elements that has brought notoriety to the event is the whimsical costume contest, guaranteed to bring a smile to everyone’s face and a huge hit on Instagram. The Trot has put Oceanside on the map nationally as a place for active families to live, work, and play. Visitors and multigenerational families flock to Oceanside to Move Their Feet Before They Eat®. Runners and walkers come from 46 states and 460 cities to be with their families and friends in Oceanside for this memorable holiday tradition. If you think you are not quite up to run a 5k you are still welcome to walk or trot. Over 75% of our participants walk or trot along this incredible scenic course. When asked what the love the most, participants remark that they love seeing so many of their friends out on the course, at the finish or at the finish line food, photo area and fabulous expo. New this year will be the pre-race packet pick up, and registration will be hosted by Dick’s Sporting Goods on Vista Way on Tuesday Nov. 20th from 3 – 8 pm and Wed. Nov. 21 from 9 to 1pm. Plenty of easy access parking and fabulous shopping will enhance the participants experience picking up their t-shirts/ bibs and last-minute registrations. Each participant has the opportunity to choose from one of 60 local schools or non-profits that service North County Day of race registration is held in the Oceanside Civic Center parking structure on the corner of Ditmar and Civic Center Dr. starting at 6AM. Both the 10k and 5K are superfast downhill courses with a refreshing ocean breeze. The beautiful 10K run through the Oceanside Harbor and out on to the historic Oceanside Pier. The 5K course which has 6,000 participants is run in waves of 600 every 2 minutes starting at 8:05AM with the Walkers starting 8:35 AM. www.oceansidechamber.com

This gives everyone a chance to set their personal best times. If you need to burn off a few more calories before your favorite day of eating the event offers great deals on the Combo 10K/5K for a total of 15K. Local business and schools compete each year for the bragging right of largest teams. Historically the Austin Bice Foundation, Oceanside Boys & Girls Club and TriCity Medical Center have been some of the largest teams. Participating as a team with your family and friends and helping to raise funds for the local community helps make Thanksgiving even more memorable for many. Over the past 12 years, the Austin Bice Foundation has been the top team for the past 6 years. The passionate team members are there to support the Austin Bice College Scholarship fund which gives thousands of dollars annually to deserving future leaders. Since its inception in 2006, the trot has grown from 2,200 to 9,000 participants and has benefitted the Move Your Feet Before You Eat Foundation. In addition to the $5/participant donation the Foundation is now providing electronic scanning and database software for the in school and afterschool programs to help reinforce running and walking as an essential element of everyone’s daily healthy lifestyle. The trot is organized by a local race committee, sponsors and over 400 local volunteer groups and individuals. If you don’t feel like running or walking and just want to be part of a great community event please contact the volunteer coordinator at vol@osideturkeytrot.com Come join us Thanksgiving Day and see why everyone loves “The Trot.” For more information reach out to us at info@ osideturkeytrot.com or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Move Your Feet Before You Eat! ®

Thanksgiving Morning November 22, 2018 • Oceanside, CA 13 YEARS RUNNING! BENEFITING LOCAL SCHOOLS AND NON-PROFITS


for more information call 760.434.5255 or to register visit www.osideturkeytrot.com

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years



Memories from Sgt. Shirley Downey, USMC

At the snack bar of their recreation center, “The Green Hat” club, are four of Pendleton’s women Marines, Pfc. Annie Laau, Pfc. Myrtle Haugen, Tech. Sgt. Agnes Thomas, and Pfc. Elvira Blackwater. (U. S. Marine Corps photo)”,

When I checked into the Woman Marine Company at Camp Pendleton, Calif. in August 1953, the sergeant major told me that we had our own club where we could go hangout, relax and order something to eat and drink. She told me they also had special events there like the Pala Indian Children’s Christmas Party. “The Green Hat” Club sat on a hill up in back of our barracks (Woman Marine Barracks) in the 24 Area at Camp Pendleton. The Green Hat Club was a ranch-style building with three large rooms: one for dancing furnished with booths and tables; the bar was located in the center room with tables and chairs scattered about like in a dining room; and the third room was furnished like a living room with sofas, chairs, desks, and lamps. One could come and sit, read, or write. There were restrooms and an office. The Green Hat also had two mascots while I was there. The first was a small dog named Brandy. She kind of resembled a coyote and for sure she didn’t like men. Sgt. Agnes “Tommy” Thomas, the General Manager of the Green Hat took Brandy with her when she retired. The second mascot was a standard bulldog, a purebred; he was given to us by a male Marine sergeant who bred these dogs and hung out at the Green Hat quite often. In 1954, I was transferred to The Green Hat as one of the assistant managers. At that time Sgt. Thomas was the General Manager of The Green Hat Club. I managed the Club for about a year. Once a month I taught “Uniform Code of Military Justice” and “Customs and Courtesies” classes at The Green Hat Club to our women Marines. Pay days and holidays were the busiest days at The Green Hat Club. We had a lot of social events there too. It was a great place to hang out! 48

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years

Shirley Downey was in the Marine Corps from 1953 until 1956 in the military occupational skill field as a 4100, Basic Exchange Marine.


Judy Freeman; Sgt., USMC; veteran Marine; was a field radio operator with the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton between 1983 and 1989 and a member of the Camp Pendleton Mounted Color Guard. (Photo courtesy of Judy Freeman)

Barbara McCurtis; 1st Sgt., USMC (Ret); was a personnel/administrative chief at Camp Pendleton from 1990-1991 processing Marines deploying in support of Operations Desert Shield/Storm. Shown here with Marines of the Camp Pendleton Mobilization Processing Center. (Photo courtesy of Barbara McCurtis).

Cydney R. Rose; Gunnery Sgt., USMC; active duty; was a supply warehouse clerk from 2005-2008 and is a first sergeant with Combat Logistics Battalion 1 (CLB-1) from 2016 to present while stationed at Camp Pendleton. Shown here inspecting Marines of CLB-1 performing drill for a promotion panel. (Photo courtesy of Cydney Rose)

Anna (Orlando) Hopkins; Staff Sgt., USMC; veteran Marine; was a secretary assigned to the Woman Marine Company at Camp Pendleton from 1951 to 1952; was married at the Ranch House in June 1952. (Photo courtesy of Anna Hopkins)

Lillian (Hagener) Bell; Lt. Col., USMC (Ret); was an administrative/personnel officer at Camp Pendleton. Shown here with a collection of covers (hats) of the Marine Corps uniforms she wore over her 39-year Marine Corps career. (Photo courtesy of the San Diego Union-Tribune)

Theresa “Sue” (Malone) Sousa; Staff Sgt., USMC; veteran Marine; was a motor transport operator and topographic draftsman at Camp Pendleton from 1950-1952. Shown here working on a topographic map at Camp Pendleton Office of the Ground Water Resources in 1951. (Photo courtesy of Theresa “Sue” Sousa).


Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


Caption Here

Pfc. Kira Kozik, the first female student to enter Camp Pendleton’s Marine Combat Training program, listens to an instructor. This marks the first gender integrated MCT company on the West Coast. (U.S. Marine Corps)

First Female Students Land at Camp Pendleton for Marine Training Reprinted from article published March 6, 2018 THE SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE

Tuesday’s arrivals were assigned to Golf Company, Marine Combat Training Battalion. They will be integrated fully with male Marines for the duration of the 29-day course, just like they are in North Carolina, according to Training Command spokesman Capt. Joshua J. Pena.

by Carl Prine The first wave of female students landed Tuesday at Camp Pendleton’s Marine Combat Training course, an influx expected to grow to 1,700 annually.

“Neither the course nor the training calendar will be altered at all because of this,” Pena said.

The recent graduates of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island will be the first enlisted female students to learn basic battlefield skills at what’s called “MCT-West,” part of Camp Pendleton’s School of Infantry. The group is expected to grow to 40 women in the next few days.

The first woman to report to MCT-West was Pfc. Kira Kozik and the second was Pvt. Nathalie Lizama. But they won’t be the first Marines to arrive at the campus for infantry training. When the Pentagon opened up the infantry ranks in 2016, several women went through the School of Infantry’s Infantry Training Battalion, a separate and grueling 59-day course for Marines chosen to serve in rifle squads or join

In the past, they went to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, but the new Marine Corps policy will send all female boot camp grads recruited from states west of the Mississippi River to Camp Pendleton. 50

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


both male and female Marines. It tells women that they’re not as tough as the men and it teaches male recruits that female Marines can’t hack it, they say. “You can see the hypocrisy here, the absolute hypocrisy,” said retired Marine Lt. Col. Kate Germano, a former commander of the female-only Fourth Recruit Training Battalion at Parris Island and a longtime advocate for opening up all Marine training to women. “The reality is that recruiting is capped at 3,400 women because of space limitations at Parris Island. If they moved into other facilities and got more space, they could recruit more women. They could take over a squad bay in San Diego and move women in there. “It hasn’t happened already because they don’t want it to happen.” Congress might take notice, she added. A woman recruited in San Diego will fly to South Carolina for boot camp, then back here for MCT then possibly back to an eastern state for advanced schooling or to join a unit there, hiking costs for the taxpayer.

U.S. Marine Col. Jeffery Holt, commanding officer, School of Infantry - West, and Sgt. Maj. Jonathon Groth, School of Infantry - West sergeant major, greets Pvt. Nathalie Lizama. She is the second female to arrive at SOI - W on Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 6, 2018. This marks the first male-female integrated Marine Combat Training company on the West Coast. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Kerstin Roberts)

“It’s farcical,” she said. Women make up about 9 percent of the Marine Corps, the smallest percentage of female service members in all of the armed forces. The percentage in the Navy is twice as large, although the Marines want to raise it to 10 percent.

machine gun, mortar, anti-tank weapon or Light Armored Vehicle-25 crews. MCT is for non-infantry Marines. Their training includes learning the basics of combat marksmanship, how to react to roadside bombs, lifesaving medical care and other skills. With the credo “every Marine a rifleman,” the Corps wants to ensure that men and women are training together because they might have to fight together, too.

Women comprise about 15 percent of the entire activeduty force in the military.

U.S. Marine Pfc. Kira Kozik, the first female Marine student to check in to School of Infantry – West, stands in line to turn in her medical records on Camp Pendleton, March 6, 2018. This marks the first male-female integrated Marine Combat Training company on the West Coast. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Kerstin Roberts)

“This initiative is part of a Marine Corps effort to enhance the entry-level training program for all Marines and to better reflect how the Marine Corps is structured in the operating forces,” Pena said. The MCT innovation doesn’t telegraph a switch in Corps policy toward Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, however. It’s expected to remain closed to the 3,400 women enlisting annually. “The Marine Corps will continue to send women to Parris Island,” Pena said. “The current number that we recruit is supportable at Parris Island. If we reach a number above what we’re recruiting now, that’ll be on the table, to open up San Diego.” Critics have argued that segregating boot camp by gender sends a bad message to www.oceansidechamber.com

Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


Surf n Turf O’side Style at Legendary Hunter Steakhouse food and of our hospitality.”

Established over 45 years ago, Hunter Steakhouse at 1221 Vista Way is an Oceanside institution. Hearty American fare, reasonable prices, rustic ambiance and down home hospitality attract local clientele. As generations of families and friends continue to celebrate special occasions at Hunter, the restaurant has become an indelible part of Oceanside culture.

The quaint four-story building houses a basement-bar, banquet room, lower and upper dining rooms. Wood paneling, an inviting stone fireplaces and historical photographs impart warmth to the welcoming atmosphere. Built on the site of the Buena Vista Cemetery after it was removed in 1970, Hunter Steakhouse is reputed to be haunted. When bodies at the cemetery were disinterred, not all were unearthed. Both patrons and employees alike have reported paranormal activity. An aura of mystery enshrouds this sanctioned historic site.

The steakhouse was previously part of a national chain owned by Steakhouse Partners Inc. When the corporation filed bankruptcy in 2008, longtime employee/ Carlsbad resident Mike Schneider purchased the Oceanside and Mission Valley Hunter Steakhouses. With the help of experienced GM John Rossotto, he remodeled the Oceanside location, updated menus and reconnected with the local community. Mike explains, “We take a lot of pride in the culture that we helped create both in the quality of our

Spirits aside, Hunter Steakhouse is famous for its award-winning prime rib prepared using a time-tested recipe from the seventies: meat is coated in a secret homemade herb crust then slow roasted to juicy perfection. Beef is choice corn-fed Midwestern and steaks are hand carved in house. The filet mignon, top sirloin, New York strip and salmon are popular too. Generous sized entrees come with Squaw bread, choice of soup, Caesar salad or tableside salad bar and side. The bar menu showcases classic cocktails from Manhattans to martinis and wines. Top-notch service completes the dining experience. Servers are hired for personality, trained for skill and encouraged to be part of the steakhouse family. Striving for quality, hospitality and integrity, the entire staff promises to take exceptional care of everyone who walks through the door. Understandably, Hunter Steakhouse maintains a loyal following of regular customers. It’s not uncommon for a couple to get engaged there and return 40 years later to celebrate their anniversary. More often, Thanksgiving parties grow from six to 26 over the years. The establishment provides a popular venue for rehearsal dinners and monthly business meetings such as the local retired colonels club.

Serving the “BeSt Prime riB in town!” Welcome to Hunter Steakhouse We embrace our 48 year tradition as a classic steakhouse while continually renewing our commitment to small town hospitality.

Mike’s commitment to the restaurant extends to the community. He’s a huge supporter of the military and local schools. Hunter’s catering department can serve 20 to 5,000 people. They feed 3,000 attendees at the annual Operation Appreciation, participate in the Oceanside Days of Art, San Luis Rey Mission Powwow, weekly Sunset Market and more.

“You’re Family, You’re Invited!” For reservations call

760.433.2633 www.huntersteakhouse.com

From festivities large and small to unforgettable meals, Hunter Steakhouse is the place to go for extraordinary American classics in Oceanside.

1221 Vista Way • Oceanside, CA 92054 Located Vista Way @ I-5


Women Marines – Camp Pendleton – Celebrating 75 Years


CREDIT UNION Celebrating a Rich History Serving Camp Pendleton How We Began...

The good old days...Cadillacs had fins, the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn, Elvis was just an unknown kid from Tupelo, and there was no such thing as Personal Computers. Since 1952, Pacific Marine Credit Union (back then known as Camp Pendleton Federal Credit Union) has been serving the financial needs of Marines, Sailors, and Civilian Employees living in Southern California. There have been a lot of changes during the past 66 years, and PMCU has changed with the times. Today PMCU has more than 78,000 members worldwide, with thirteen branch locations and international ATM access.

...Where We’re Headed

PMCU is a not-for-profit organization owned and controlled by its members. As a not-for-profit cooperative, all profits are returned to our members in the form of services, lower interest rates on loans, and higher earnings on savings and deposits. We founded Pacific Marine Credit Union with an unwavering commitment to serving our members, and that commitment still holds strong today. Visit us at our Camp Pendleton branches, online at pmcu.com, or over the phone at 800-736-4500.


Federally chartered and named CAMP PENDLETON FEDERAL CREDIT UNION



1981 ATMs were placed on Camp Pendleton


Website launched



Internet Banking launched



eStatements and Bill Pay launched

Converted to state charter and renamed PACIFIC MARINE CREDIT UNION

Mobile Branch opens for business on Camp Pendleton


Financial Education Program launched


PMCU Financial Education Center opens at Camp Pendlton branch


2017 & 2018

New branches opened at SOI and Main Gate onboard Camp Pendleton

2014 & 2015

Smart Phone Apps PMCU Camp Pendleton branch and Person 2 Person received the “Credit Union of the payment option are Year” award from the launched Department of the Navy.

Now with even more

Healthcare Clinics for you and your family




1926 Via Centre, Vista, CA 92081 760.940.7000 • www.tricityprimarycare.com

2067 W Vista Way, Suite 160, Vista, CA 92083 760.295.9995 • www.venuswhcp.com

2375 S. Melrose Drive, Vista, CA 92081 760.305.1900 • www.clancymedicalgroup.com

3998 Vista Way, Suite C, Oceanside, CA 92056 760.385.8008 • www.radianceobgyn.com


Thunder Dr

Locations in Oceanside, Carlsbad, & Vista 760.724.9000 • www.orthonorthcounty.com


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We have expanded the Tri-City Healthcare Network, giving patients in our community even more access to the highest level of care. Tri-City Medical Center actively works to recruit top physicians in needed specialties because you and your family deserve the very best.

Vista Way

McClellan-Palomar Airport

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