This informative illustrated history of women in the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) covers the period from 1946-1977.
Despite the acknowledged contribution made by the 20,000 women Reservists who served in the Marine Corps during World War II, there was no thought in 1946 of maintaining women on active duty or, for that matter, even in the Reserve forces. This volume recounts the events that brought about the change in thinking on the part of Marines, both men and women, that led to the integration of women into the Corps, to the point where they now constitute eight percent of our strength.
The project was the idea of Brigadier General Margaret A. Brewer, who, in 1975, as the last Director of Women Marines, noted that the phasing out of women-only organizations marked the start of a new era for women in the Corps, and the end of an old one. Further, she rightly reasoned that the increased assimilation of women would make the historical trail of women in Marine Corps difficult to follow.
The story is drawn from official reports, documents, personal interviews, and transcribed reminiscences collected by the author and preserved by the Oral History and Archives Sections of the History and Museums Division.
CHAPTER 1 - A Time of Uncertainty, 1946-1948 * CHAPTER 2 - Women's Armed Forces Legislation: Public Law 625 * CHAPTER 3 - Going Regular * CHAPTER 4 - The Korean War Years * CHAPTER 5 - Utilization and Numbers, 1951-1963 * CHAPTER 6 - Utilization and Numbers: Pepper Board, 1964-1972 * CHAPTER 7 - Utilization and Numbers: Snell Committee, 1973-1977 * CHAPTER 8 - Reserves After Korea * CHAPTER 9 - Recruit Training * CHAPTER 10 - Officer Training * CHAPTER 11 - Administration of Women * CHAPTER 12 - Promotions * CHAPTER 13 - Marriage, Motherhood, and Dependent Husbands * CHAPTER 14 - Uniforms * CHAPTER 15 - Laurels and Traditions * CHAPTER 16 - The Sergeants Major of Women Marines * CHAPTER 17 - The Directors of Women Marines
A History of the Women Marines, 1946-1977 is almost entirely derived from raw files, interviews and conversations, newspaper articles, muster rolls and unit diaries, and materials loaned by Marines. There was no one large body of records available. In the course of the project, more than 300 letters were written to individuals, several mass mailings were made, and notices soliciting information were printed in all post and station newspapers, Leatherneck, Marine Corps Gazette, Retired Marine, and the newsletters of Marine Corps associations. More than 100 written responses were received and some women Marines generously loaned us personal papers and precious scrapbooks. Especially helpful in piecing together the events between World War II and the passage of the Women's Armed Services Integration Act were the scrapbooks of former Director of Women Marines Colonel Julia E. Hamblet, and former WR Dorothy M. Munroe. Taped interviews were conducted with 32 women, including former Director of the Women's Reserve Colonel Ruth Cheney Streeter.