BIRTH OF THE MARINE CORPS On 10 November 1775, the Continental Congress meetingin Philadelphia passed a resolution stating that "twoBattalions of Marines be raised" for service as landingforces with the fleet. This resolution, sponsored by JohnAdams, established the Continental Marines and marked thebirth date of the United States Marine Corps. Serving onland and at sea, these first Marines distinguishedthemselves in a number of important operations, includingtheir first amphibious raid into the Bahamas in March 1776,under the command of Captain Samuel Nicholas. Nicholas, thefirst commissioned officer in the Continental Marines,remained the senior Marine officer throughout the AmericanRevolution and is considered to be the first MarineCommandant. The Treaty of Paris in April 1783 brought an endto the Revolutionary War and as the last of the Navy's shipswere sold, the Continental Navy and Marines went out ofexistence. WOMEN IN THE MARINE CORPS Aug 12, 1918 - World War I - 305 "Reservists (Female)" wereadmitted into the Marine Corps to perform clerical duties,and thereby, "Free a Marine to fight." Aug 13, 1918 - Opha Mae Johnson, the first woman Marine,enlisted in Washington, D.C. July 30, 1919 - Major General George Barnett, Commandant,issued orders for the separation of all women from theReserve. Nov 7, 1942 - General Thomas Holcomb, Commandant, approvedthe formation of the United States Marine Corps Women'sReserve. Mrs. Ruth Cheney Streeter of Morristown, NJ, wascommissioned a major in the USMCWR and sworn in as the firstDirector of the Women's Reserve on 29 Jan 1943. She achievedthe grade of colonel prior to resigning her commission on 6Dec 1945. Feb, 1943 - World War II - women's continuous active servicebegan. The first enlisted class of 722 women completedtraining at Hunter College, NY, on 25 Apr 1943; the firstofficer class with 75 women graduated from training at MountHolyoke College, MA, on 11 May 1943. Jun, 1944 - Women Reserves constituted 85 percent of theenlisted personnel on duty at Headquarters Marine Corps, andfrom one-half to two-thirds of the personnel manning allmajor posts and stations in the United States. At theirpeak, there were over 19,000 women, approximately thestrength of a Marine Division, in wartime service in theMarine Corps. Dec, 1945 - Two-thirds of the Women Reserves had beenseparated or transferred to inactive status as part of thepostwar demobilization. In 1946, the Marine Corps elected toretain a small nucleus of trained women to set up a postwarReserve to avoid having to start from scratch again. june 12, 1948 - Congress passed the Women's Armed ServicesIntegration Act which authorized the acceptance of womeninto the Regular component of the Marine Corps. Women couldnot exceed two percent of total service strength or holdpermanent rank above lieutenant colonel. The Director ofWomen Marines would hold the temporary rank of colonel. Nov 3, 1948 - Colonel Katherine A. Towle, who had been thesecond Director of the Women's Reserve, was discharged fromthe Marine Corps Reserve and accepted a Regular commissionas a permanent lieutenant colonel. The next day she wasappointed the first Director of Women Marines, with thetemporary rank of colonel. 1949 - The 3rd Recruit Training Battalion was formed at theMarine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC with CaptainMargaret M. Henderson as the first commanding officer. TheWomen Officers' Training Class was established at MarineCorps Schools, Quantico, in Jun 1949 under the command ofCaptain Elsie E. Hill. Aug, 1950 - Korean War - For the first time in history,Women Reserves were mobilized. May 1, 1953 - Julia Hamblet became Director of WomenMarines-as a colonel. She held this post until 1 Mar 1959. 1965 - Vietnam War - A strength increase was approved and by1968 there were 2,700 women Marines on active duty.Opportunities expanded as well. From 1965 to 1973, womenMarines carried out an increasing variety of duties bothstateside and overseas. The Marine Corps also began openingup career-type formal training programs to women officersand advanced technical training to enlisted women. Mar 18, 1967 - Master Sergeant Barbara J. Dulinsky, who hadvolunteered for duty in Vietnam, reported to the MilitaryAssistance Command in Saigon-the first woman Marine orderedto a combat zone. A total of 28 enlisted women and eightwomen officers served in Vietnam. Nov 8, 1967 - President Johnson signed into Public Law90-130, a bill which repealed the limits on the number ofwomen in the services, permitted permanent promotion tocolonel, and provided for the temporary appointment of womento brigadier general if filling a flag rank billet. In hiswords, "Our Armed Forces literally could not operateeffectively or efficiently without our women..." 1974 - The Commandant approved a change in policy permittingthe assignment of women to specified rear echelon elementsof the Fleet Marine Force, but they could not be deployedwith assault units or units likely to become engaged incombat. 1975 - The Marine Corps approved the assignment of women toall occupational fields except infantry, artillery, armor,and pilot/air crew. June 30, 1977 - The Office of the Director of Women Marineswas disestablished. May 11, 1978 - Colonel Margaret A. Brewer was appointed to ageneral officer's billet as Director of Information, withthe rank of brigadier general, thereby becoming the firstwomen general officer in the history of the Marine Corps. Feb, 1985 - Colonel Gail M. Reals became the first womenselected by a board of general officers to be advanced tobrigadier general. 1990-1991 - Approximately 1,000 women Marines deployed to Southwest Asia for Operations Desert Shield and DesertStorm. June, 1992 - Brigadier General Carol A. Mutter assumedcommand of the 3rd Force Service Support Group, Okinawa,becoming the first women to command a Fleet Marine Forceunit at the flag level. July 23, 1993- 2nd Lieutenant Sarah Deal became the firstwoman Marine selected for Naval aviation training. Shereceived her wings on 21 Apr 1995 and is now serving as aCH-53E pilot. June, 1994 - Brigadier General Mutter became the first womanMajor General in the Marine Corps and the senior woman onactive duty in the armed services. Oct 1, 1994 - Restrictions on women's assignments werereduced to only units whose primary mission is to engage indirect combat on the ground. July, 1996 - Lieutenant General Mutter became the secondwoman in the history of the armed services and the firstwoman Marine to wear three stars. She assumed duties as theDeputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. Today, 768 women account for 4.3 percent of all Marineofficers and 8,051 women make up 5.1 percent of the activeduty enlisted force in the Marine Corps. These numberscontinue to grow, as do opportunities to serve. Ninety-threepercent of all occupational fields and 62 percent of allpositions are now open to women. Significant changesnoticeable in training, as women are now receiving combattraining and graduating from many formerly male-only specialskills schools, and in the Fleet Marine Force, where womenare showing up in non-traditional jobs and previouslyrestricted units and deploying shipboard. The "firsts" forwomen in the Marine Corps in the past several years are toonumerous to list separately. MARINE CORPS IN THE 1990 S Operation Sharp Edge - Evacuation of Monrovia, Liberia andprotection of American embassy, Monrovia - Aug. 5, 1990 toJan. 9, 1991 Operation Desert Shield - Aug. 7, 1990- Aug. 2; Marines deploy to Saudi Arabia after SaddamHussien's forces invade Kuwait Operation Desert Storm - Jan. 17, 1991/ Air War begins -Jan. 17, 1991- 94,000 regulars, 13,066 reserves participated (Marines)- 22 Marines lost their lives; 2 died of wounds; 88 woundedin actionGround War begins - Feb. 24, 1991End of hostilities - Feb. 28, 1991Ceasefire declared - April 11, 1991 Operation Eastern Exit - Jan. 2, 1991 - evacuation ofAmerican Embassy, Mogadishu, Somalia. Operation Provide Comfort - April 9, 1991-July 1991 -humanitarian operations for refugees in Northern Iraq andTurkey Operation GITMO - Nov 1991- May 1993 - humanitarianassistance to Haitian refugees fleeing to Cuba; securityoperations Operation Provide Promise - July 1992-March 1996 - Searchand Rescue operations (26th MEU (SOC)) in Bosnia-Hercegovinaregion (Adriatic Sea) in support of Provide Promise. Operation Sharp Guard - Dec. 1992- Dec. 1995 - Adriatic Sea;operations in support of U.N. Decisive Enhancement - Dec. 1995- present - Adriatic Sea;involving deployed MEUs Operation Southern Watch - Aug 1992 -present - Enforcementof Southern Iraqi no-fly zone. Operation Restore Hope - Dec. 1992- May 1993 - Somalia,humanitarian assistance, Marines land Dec. 9, 1992. Operation Able Manner/Able Vigil - Jan 1993- Oct. 1994 -Windward passage (Cuba)/ Straits of Florida; supportinterdiction of Haitian and Cuban migrants. Operation Deny Flight - April 1993- Dec. 1995 -Bosnia-Hercegovina; enforcement of no-fly zone overBosnia-Hercegovina Decisive Edge - Dec. 1995- present - (same as Deny Flight) Somalia - May 1993- March 1994 - Humanitarian and SecurityAssistance (formerly Oper. Restore Hope). Operation Support Democracy - Oct. 1993- Oct. 1994 - Haiti;enforcement of U.N. sanctions. Operation Distant Runner - April 1994 - Off the coast ofKenya and Bujumbura, Burundi; security forces for evacuationof American citizens from Rwanda. Operation Sea Signal - May 1994-Feb. 1996 - Guantanamo Bay,Cuba; processed Cuban and Haitian migrants and providedsecurity in support of JTF-160. Operation Support Hope - Aug.- Sept. 1994 - Mombasa, Kenya,and Burundi; relief operations. Operation Uphold Democracy - Sept. 1994 - Haiti; securedCape Haitian as part of the US forces restoring democracy inHaiti. Operation Vigilant Warrior - Oct. 1994 - Kuwait and SaudiArabia; rapid deployment of US forces to counter Iraqimilitary buildup south of 32nd parallel. Operation Safe Passage - Jan.- Feb. 1995 - Carribean Sea;security support for the transfer of Cuban migrants fromPanama to GITMO. Operation United Shield - Jan.- March 1995 - Somalia;provided security for the withdrawal of UN operations(UNOSOM) forces. Operation Full Accounting - March- April 1995; Oct.1995-present - Thailand; supported ongoing national effortsfor the accounting of POWs/MIAs from the Vietnam War. TRAP mission - June 8, 1995 - Bosnia; 24th MEU(SOC) Marinesconduct tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel missionto rescue downed Air Force pilot Capt. Scott O'Grady. Operation Deliberate Force - Aug.- Sept. 1995 - Bosnia; 2ndMAW conducted air strikes into Bosnia in support of UNresolutions. Operation Vigilant Sentinel - Aug. 1995-present - PersianGulf; Deployment in support of CENTCOM deterence of Iraqiaggression. Operation Fairwinds - Nov. 1995- May 1996 - Haiti; securityprovided for Navy Mobile Construction Bn. and USAF engineerunit. Operation Joint Endeavor - Dec. 1995- present - Adriatic Seaand Bosnia; theater reserve for USCINC EUR and SACEUR insupport of NATO operations to implement the military tasksof the Dayton Peace Accords. Operation Assured Response - April-Aug. 1996 - Liberia;noncombatant evacuation operations at the embassy inMonrovia; security mission. Chemical/Biological Incident Response Force formed - April1996 - formed for crisis response to chemical/biologicalincidents, provide training to DoN personnel, and functionas a testbed for new equipment, techniques and proceduresfor Chem/Bio. agent use. 14 July- 6 Aug. 1996 -- CBIRFdeployed to Olympic Games Operation Quick Response - May-Aug 1996 - Bangui, CentralAfrican Republic; embassy security operations and NEOs Operation Desert Focus - July 1996-present - Southwest Asia;utilized in the aftermath of Khobar bombings in Dhahran,Saudi Arabia; counterintelligence operations as part ofJTF-SWA.
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