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.
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