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2003 OBSERVANCE OF WOMENS HISTORY MONTH

Date Signed: 2/12/2003
MARADMINS Number: 056/03


R 120955Z FEB 03
FM CMC WASHINGTON DC(n)
TO ML MARADMIN(n)
MARADMIN
BT
UNCLAS
MARADMIN 056/03
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC/MP//
SUBJ/2003 OBSERVANCE OF WOMENS HISTORY MONTH//
POC/D. T. WILLIAMS/LTCOL/CMC MPE/TEL:278-9371/TEL: (703) 784-9371//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. THE MONTH OF MARCH IS SET ASIDE TO RECOGNIZE THE
ACHIEVEMENTS OF WOMEN. THE THEME FOR THIS YEAR'S OBSERVANCE IS
"WOMEN PIONEERING THE FUTURE."
2. WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH IS AN IDEAL TIME TO RECOGNIZE THE
CONTRIBUTIONS OF FEMALE MARINES AS THEY CELEBRATE THEIR 60TH YEAR
OF CONTINUOUS ACTIVE SERVICE IN THE MARINE CORPS. ONE PIONEER WAS
PRIVATE OPHA MAE JOHNSON WHO BECAME THE FIRST WOMAN MARINE WHEN
SHE ENLISTED, AS A MARINE RESERVIST (F), IN 1918 DURING
WORLD WAR I. DURING THAT WAR, 305 WOMEN ENLISTED TO "FREE A MAN TO
FIGHT."
3. ANOTHER MILESTONE WAS REACHED IN 1948 WHEN CONGRESS PASSED
THE WOMEN'S ARMED SERVICES INTEGRATION ACT. THIS LEGISLATION MADE
WOMEN A PERMANENT PART OF THE REGULAR MARINE CORPS. IN 1950, FOR
THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, WOMEN RESERVISTS WERE MOBILIZED FOR THE
KOREAN WAR. AT THE HEIGHT OF THE VIETNAM WAR, THERE WERE
APPROXIMATELY 2,700 WOMEN MARINES ON ACTIVE DUTY SERVING BOTH
STATESIDE AND OVERSEAS.
4. TODAY, WOMEN ARE TRAINED IN 93 PERCENT OF MILITARY OCCUPATIONAL
SPECIALTIES AND SERVE IN 62 PERCENT OF ALL BILLETS. GREATER
LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AND CAREER TRAINING HAVE EMPOWERED
WOMEN TO BE PROMOTED AND SELECTED FOR COMMAND. WOMEN HOLD EVERY
RANK IN THE CORPS FROM PRIVATE TO MAJOR GENERAL AND ACCOUNT FOR
6.2 PERCENT OF THE CORPS' STRENGTH. SIMILARLY, WOMEN CONTINUE TO
TRANSITION FROM ACTIVE DUTY TO CIVILIAN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS
IN BUSINESS, GOVERNMENT, EDUCATION, AND THEIR COMMUNITIES.
5. DURING MARCH, COMMANDERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO RECOGNIZE AND
CELEBRATE THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF WOMEN AS INDIVIDUALS, AND MORE
IMPORTANTLY, ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR ROLES AS INTEGRAL MEMBERS OF THE
MARINE TEAM. COMMANDERS ARE FURTHER ENCOURAGED TO CONDUCT PROGRAMS
AND PROMOTE PARTICIPATION IN OBSERVANCE EVENTS BOTH ON BASE AND IN
THE LOCAL COMMUNITY. COMMANDERS ARE AUTHORIZED TO DEVELOP LOCAL
THEMES FOR USE AT THEIR COMMANDS.//



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