MCRD SAN DIEGO, Calif. --
At the beginning of World War II, it was rare to see American women in military uniforms, but as the war progressed, bitter fighting in the pacific led to an urgent need for more Marines. It was our brave American women, from across the country, who answered the nation’s call. Their presence, accomplishments and contributions, are now woven into Marine Corps history and their legacy has paved the way for future generations, shaping the organization as we see it today.
Base personnel and guests gathered for a dedication ceremony in recognition of the Women’s Reserve Battalion, aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Feb. 11. The ceremony was held in front of the current Temporary Enlisted Quarters, featuring the unveiling of a monument, which was purposefully placed where the original Woman Marine Barracks was once located. The ceremony also featured a musical performance from Marine Band San Diego, the presentation of the national colors from the Depot Color Guard, and remarks from both the President of the Women Marine Association’s San Diego chapter and the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego Commanding General.
The monument was donated by the Women Marine Association in honor of women who served on the depot during World War II. The battalion was established on February 13, 1943 as part of the Marine Corps Reserves to provide qualified women for duty at shore establishments across the Marine Corps.
“Today we recognize those Marines who volunteered to serve their country at a very different time in our country’s history," said Brig. Gen. Jason L. Morris, commanding general of Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and the Western Recruiting Region.
Among the ceremonial attendees sat honored guest, Roberta (Randy) Tidmore, who once checked into the Woman Marine Barracks for duty in 1944. Randy is part of the legacy of nearly 20,000 women who joined the Marine Corps ranks during the war, filling positions in more than 225 occupational specialties. By the end of the war women filled approximately 85 percent of enlisted positions at Headquarters Marine Corps and comprised up to two-thirds of permanent personnel aboard the Corp’s major posts.
“It really affected me, and it’s important for this monument to be here to show that we were here,” said Tidmore.
Tidmore will celebrate her 100th Birthday on March 19, 2022.
In July of 1948, US Congress passed legislation admitting women as a regular component of the armed forces. Since then, women have continued to fill our ranks, proudly upholding the traditions of the Marine Corps with strength and dignity, worthy of the highest recognition of all Americans.