The first woman enlisted in the United States Marine Corps today in 1918 during World War I. Now WE know em

Opha Mae Johnson

Opha May Johnson was born February 2, 1900 in Kokomo, Indiana.

When World War I broke out July 28, 1914, woman were not allowed to serve in the military.

Then in 1918, the Secretary of Navy Josephus Daniels announced they would allow women to enroll for clerical duty in the Marine Corps. With this, women were allowed to enlist but were not allowed to serve in war zones.

Officially, Opha Mae Johnson is credited as the first woman to enlist as a Marine.

On August 13, 1918, Opha Mae Johnson enrolled for service in order to allow a battle-ready Marine fight for his country overseas.

By the end of that day, 305 women had entered the Marine Corps.

A well known photo of Opha Mae Johnson inspecting 3 female Marines, taken in 1918.

A well known photo of Opha Mae Johnson inspecting 3 female Marines, taken in 1918.

Opha May Johnson may have worked as a secretary, a cook, or another job which the first women Marines were allowed to perform, but she would not have been a military nurse (the Marine Corps does not employ a medic specialty; that position is carried out by the Navy) while her male counterparts were being sent to fight in France.

Later, the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve was established in February 1943.

On June 12th, 1948, Congress passed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act and made women a permanent part of the regular Marine Corps.

It would not be until 1967 that Barbara Dulinsky became the first female Marine to serve in a war zone.

Now WE know em

Lady Leathernecks on parade

Lady Leathernecks on parade

 

 

Advertisements

Please Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s