On this day in 1943, the U.S. Marine Corps’ Women’s Reserve was formed after months of delay following President Roosevelt’s signing of Public Law 689 on July 30, 1942.
The law officially established the Women’s Reserve as a branch of the Naval Reserve for the Navy and Marine Corps. Its purpose, to free up officers and men for combat as the Women’s Reserve filled enlisted and officer billets on the homefront.
Though faced with opposition from government and military leaders, the Women’s Reserve proved invaluable. Commandant of the Marine Corps General Thomas Holcomb, who had been opposed to the Reserve, reversed course by 1943’s end saying, “There’s hardly any work at our Marine stations that women can’t do as well as men. They do some work far better than men…What is more, they’re real Marines. They don’t have a nickname, and they don’t need one.”
Thank you to all Women Marines and Women Veterans who have served and are serving this great nation: OOHRAH!
- Free a Marine To Fight: Women Marines in World War II, National Park Service
- History of Women Marines, Women Marines Association
- Women Marines in World War II, Marine Corps University
- American Women Veterans
- California Department of Veterans Affairs: Women Veterans
- Grace Under Fire
- Military Women’s Memorial
- National Association of Black Military Women
- National Coalition for Homeless Veteran: Women Veterans
- National Veterans Foundation (NVF): Women Veteran Resources
- Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN)
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office on Women’s Health
- VA Center for Women Veterans (CWV)
- Women Marines Association (WMA)
- Women Veterans Alliance
- Women Veterans Initiative (WVI)
- Women Veterans Rock
- Women Vets on Point