MARADMINS : 101/16
R 241857Z FEB 16
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC MRA MP//
SUBJ/2016 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH OBSERVANCE//
POC/LENER J. GADEA/SGT/UNIT: MPE/-/TEL: (703)784-9371/TEL: DSN 278-9371//
TEL: COMM (703)784-9371//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. March 2016 marks the month dedicated to celebrating Women's History and women's contributions to our great nation. This year will be the 36th anniversary of the National Women's History project. President Carter issued a presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980 as the first National Women's History week. In 1987 Congress expanded the observance into a month, resulting in March being declared National Women's History Month. The theme for this year's observance is "Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government."
2. As a nation, we cannot afford to overlook the contributions of women. Women have been champions of social, economic, and cultural change that has dramatically influenced public policy and the building of institutions and organizations. Women such as Susan B. Anthony, who organized the National Suffrage Organization in 1869, and Rosa Parks, who is regarded as the first lady of the civil rights movement, forged irrevocable change for the future of America.
3. This year’s theme commemorates those women whose contributions continue to push our nation towards a more perfect union. Therefore, it is fitting that we observe and recognize women in public service and government from our past and present. In 1918, the Secretary of the Navy allowed women to enlist for clerical duty in the Marine Corps. Opha Mae Johnson was the first woman to enlist in the Marine Corps on August 13, 1918. During that first year over 300 women enlisted in the Marine Corps to take over stateside clerical duties from battle-ready Marines who were needed overseas. The Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948 authorized 100 female officers, 10 warrant officers, and 1,000 enlisted Marines in a gradual build-up over a two year period with some accessed from the reserve component (both active and inactive). In December 2015, the Secretary of Defense directed that all Military Occupational Specialties become gender neutral, paving the way for women to serve in any capacity within the Marine Corps.
4. Commanders are encouraged to take time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of women in American history. Commanders are further encouraged to conduct programs and promote participation in observance events both on base and in the local community, and to develop local themes for use at their commands.
5. Release authorized by BGen G. W. Smith, Jr., Director, Manpower Plans and Policy Division.//