MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Carolina Marine Air-Ground Task Force Female Commanders Assembly
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, NC – Thirteen female Marine commanders from across the Marine Air-Ground Task Force, assembled at the Paradise Point Golf Course on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, April 5, to nurture the bonds of the sisterhood they created throughout their time in service. These bonds allow them to navigate their time in the Marine Corps with female support that was uncommon earlier in their careers.
About nine percent of all Marines are female, and only about four percent of Marine officers are women; less than one percent of that group reach senior officer ranks.
“It’s really important that young females can see themselves in our organization,” said Col. Lauren Edwards, the commanding officer of Combat Logistics Regiment 27. “Not everybody can see themselves because they don’t have people to look up to. Hopefully, we’re doing that for them.”
The assembled commanders have over two centuries of combined experience, which helped develop their resiliency and technical aspects of their job. Lt. Col. Emmaline Hill, the CO of Marine Corps Combat Logistics Battalion 6, shared that she was “trained to ensure our Marines are proficient in their technical skills – by the book, valuing individual mastery and accomplishments like physical fitness scores, rifle qualifications, and how well they can perform the technical aspects of their job.”
Through the years, the commanders have confided in mentors for guidance as they transformed from junior officers into commanding officers. “Our ability to collaborate [as leaders] and build complex teams to solve problems and frame them as opportunities – It’s inspirational,” said Lt. Col. Christie Everett, the CO of Headquarters and Support Battalion, School of Infantry-East. “Life challenges present themselves while you're in service.”
II Marine Expeditionary Force takes pride in the strong leadership that exists within its ranks as the Marine Corps continues to select, based on performance, the best and brightest commanders to lead its Marines. In accepting these highly coveted leadership positions, the ladies are accruing more time not just in the Corps but also time building strong familial ties with each other.
“When you join the Marine Corps, you join a whole other family,” Hill said. “The people that surround you on a daily basis will pick up your children, make your family dinner and [become] an extension to your family.”
Since 1918, women in the Marine Corps have served the Nation, continuously breaking down barriers of inclusion and equality. Women could not commission as officers until 1942; and it wasn’t until 1993 that women were allowed to fly combat aircraft. Finally, in 2017, the first female graduated Infantry Officer Course. Today women command battalions, have integrated into the infantry, and continue to overcome adversities, passing the torch to the next generation to continue the legacy of those who precede them.
“The Marine Corps still has a long way to go when it comes to women in the service and in leadership positions,” said Col. Cameron Fitzsimmons, the CO of Ground Supply School. “Having this large group of women within the Carolina MAGTF serving as commanders demonstrates to young female Marines of every rank that their potential is only limited by what they think they cannot achieve. They can look at us and believe in the potential of realizing their aspirations.”
The II Marine Expeditionary Force continues to employ Marines based on merit, leadership capabilities and skills to command, lead, and influence the Carolina MAGTF, which is a testament to these 13 commanders and the modern-day Marine Corps.
For the complete list of Carolina MAGTF’s female Marine commanders, please visit the following link: https://www.iimef.marines.mil/News/Article/3357381/14-women-marine-commanders-assembly/
To learn more about the history of females in the Marine Corps, visit https://www.womenmarines.org/wma-history/.