Posts tagged ‘female Marines’

FRIDAY FOTO (October 16, 2020)

Uniform Excellence.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Christopher McMurry)

Marines with Oscar Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion, stand at parade rest during a Battalion Commander’s inspection on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, on October 2, 2020. (Click on photo to enlarge)

The Battalion Commander’s Inspection is the final check and last chance to correct any discrepancies before the Marines graduate. Graduation ceremonies, usually a celebratory display for friends and family, have been closed to the public since March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Notice that the non-commissioned officer checking these newly-minted Marines is not the usual staff sergeant or gunnery sergeant drill instructor. This Marine is a sergeant major, the highest enlisted rank in the Marines except for the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, who advises the Marines’ commanding general, the commandant. The sergeant major in this photo is the senior sergeant for the whole 4th training battalion.

Those four red service stripes on her lower sleeve mean she has served at least 16 years in the Corps — four years for every stripe.

Notice all of the Marines in this photo are female. Unlike the other services, the Marines have segregated male and female recruits at the platoon level during basic training. That is scheduled to change under orders from Congress over the next five years.

October 15, 2020 at 11:56 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (September 27, 2019)

Not Your Typical Gunnery Sergeant.

Secretary Esper Hosts German Minister of Defense

U.S. Department of Defense photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

Members of the “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band stand in formation during an honor cordon at the Pentagon, September 23, 2019. The ceremony welcomed German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to the Pentagon.

The stripes on the assistant drum major‘s sleeve indicate she is a gunnery sergeant, a senior non-commissioned officer usually in charge of the weaponry and weapons training of a company or platoon, although many gunnery sergeants become drill instructors (DIs), the sergeanst charged with training civilian recruits to become Marines.

Things are a little different in the Marine Band.  Assistant Drum Major Gunnery Sergeant Monica Preston leads the band in ceremonial commitments and, as the company gunnery sergeant, she is responsible for unit and new member training.

On parade, she also gets to wear that cool hat and an ornate sash called a baldric. It is embroidered with the Marine Band’s crest and the Marine Corps’ battle colors. That big brass thing she is holding is a mace, embossed with the battles and campaigns of the Marine Corps. Drum majors use the mace to signal commands to the musicians.

Gunnery Sergeant Stacie Crowther was the first female Assistant Drum Major for “The President’s Own” in its 221-year history. She reported for duty with the band in March 2017. Earlier in September, Crowther, now a master sergeant, moved on to a new role as Bandmaster for the Quantico Marine Band.

September 27, 2019 at 1:34 am Leave a comment

SHAKO: Women’s History Month 2019, Part II

Women in the Marine Corps.

Here is the second installment of 4GWAR’s tribute to Women’s History Month featuring  photos illustrating the contributions of women in the four armed services. With the exception of one historic first or trailblazer for each service, these pictures focus on women doing their jobs — some difficult or dangerous — but all essential to keeping the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps ready to defend the United States of America. This week we look at women Marines.

MCRD Band conduct basic warrior training

(Photo by Warrant Officer Bobby Yarbrough)

Even members of the band stationed at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina — male and female — had to undergo basic warrior training in January 2019. The military musicians  were required to refamiliarize themselves with basic military skills — including crawling through the mud — “to develop the leadership mindset of the unit’s noncommissioned officers.”

WOMEN Marine ID2

(Marine Corps photo Lance Corporal Terry Wong)

Marine Corps Sergeant Marrissa Ladwig puts into practice the rappelling techniques she learned at the Jungle Warfare Training Center at Camp Gonsalves in Okinawa, Japan on January 29, 2019.

14th Marines Participate in Exercise Dynamic Front 19

(Photo by Marine Corps Corporal Niles Lee)

Corporal April Flores serves a hot meal at the Adazi Training Area, Latvia on February 28, 2019, during Dynamic Front, an annual multinational exercise. As a rising Russia grows more aggressive with its western neighbors, the Marines have been training with partner nations in the Baltics, the Balkans and Central Europe to show American support for NATO allies and friendly nations.

November Company becomes first company to graduate in new female dress blues

(Photo by Staff Sergeant Tyler Hlavac)

Sergeant Cristal Abregomedina, a warehouse clerk with Headquarters and Service Battalion, examines the new blue dress uniforms of Marines from November Company of the  4th Recruit Training Battalion last year at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina.

The female Marines of November company became the first company of recruits to graduate wearing the new female dress blues, which resembles the male uniform with a mandarin collar rather than the old style that features a neck tab over a white blouse.

Marine Corps upgrades GCSS-MC, reduces time from data to decision

(Photo by Lance Corporal A. J. Van Fredenberg)

Lance Corporal Sierra Walker, a supply specialist with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, tests the upgrade to the Global Combat Support System-Marine Corps in October 2018 before its official launch. More than 23,000 logistics and maintenance Marines rely on Global Combat Support System-Marine Corps, or GCSS-MC, to conduct their daily supply and maintenance operations worldwide.  The upgrade, GCSS-MC Release 12,  was needed to strengthen the Corps’ cybersecurity posture, making logistics more efficient while  protecting  Marine Corps supply and maintenance information.

31st MEU ARP sharpen pistol marksmanship skills at sea

(Photo by Lance Corporal Hannah Hall)

1st Lieutenant Samantha Rosales, a logistics planner with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), fires an M1911 .45-caliber pistol during marksmanship training aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) while underway in the East China Sea on September 21, 2018.  The 31st MEU, the Marine Corps’ only continuously forward-deployed expeditionary unit, is a flexible force ready to perform a wide-range of military operations in the Indo-Pacific region.

Minds behind the flight: MAG-13 mechanics support Northern Lightning

(Photo by Sergeant David Bickel)

Lance Corporal Savannah Nickell, an airframes mechanic with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122, performs routine maintenance on an F-35 Lightning II during Exercise Northern Lightning 2018 at Volk Field Counterland Training Center, located at Camp Douglas, Wisconsin. Exercise Northern Lightning 2018 strengthens interoperability between services, particularly aviation capabilities within a joint fighting force.

Alpha and Oscar Co. Grass Week

(Photo by Sergeant Dana Beesley)

Staff Sergeant Estefania Patino corrects the rifle combat optic of a recruit’s weapon in this June 6, 2018 photo at Parris Island, South Carolina. She wears the green jacket of a Primary Marksmanship Instructor, which means her job is making riflemen out of recruits. Before she joined the Marines, Patino had never fired a weapon. Now she is a graduate of the Marines’ Combat Marksmanship Coach course and a former Drill Instructor.

WOMEN Marine ID9

(Still photo captured from a Marine Corps video by Corporal Shannon Doherty)

Trailblazer: Sergeant Tara-Lyn Baker traverses the snowy terrain at the Marines’ Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California. She is the first female Marine to graduate from the arduous Mountain Leader Course. A heavy equipment mechanic, Baker successfully completed the nearly six-week program, which sharpens Marines’ skills in cold weather survival, skiing, snow mobility and mountain warfare.


(Photo by  Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Parker)

Female Marines don’t just maintain aircraft, they also make up flight crews. Here Captain Brenda Amor helps to prepare an AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter for flight operations on the flight deck of the amphibious transport dock ship, USS Arlington, in the Mediterranean Sea on January 30, 2019.

Our next Women’s History Month 2019 posting, Part III will appear Sunday, March 24.

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West Point cadetsSHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress or parade uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.




March 18, 2019 at 1:51 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO April 9, 2010

A Different Kind of Counter Insurgency

Defense Dept. photo by Cpl. Mary E. Carlin, U.S. Marine Corps. (Click on image to enlarge)

U.S. Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Raqual Painter gives candy to an Afghan girl while the child’s mother receives medical attention from a female Navy medical officer as part of an outreach program in the village of Now Abad in Helmand province, Afghanistan. The clinic was conducted by the Female Engagement Team (FET) assigned to the Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan.

After decades of war, most Afghan women, especially in the rural areas, rarely leave their homes – even for medical treatment. Additionally, tribal Afghan custom and tradition make it impossible for local women to speak with male Marines or Navy hospital corpsmen. To overcome those concerns, the all-female — and all-volunteer — FET ventures out to the community, meeting with local women on a regular basis to offer medical treatment, as well as basic health and hygiene education.

It’s a different kind of counter insurgency effort — the “soft” side of soft power. But it’s not an easy assignment and FET members undergo a training course in everything from small arms use — they will work in a theater of operations with no clear front lines — to cultural sensitivity and intelligence gathering.

April 9, 2010 at 9:29 am 2 comments


June 2023


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