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USTRANSCOM deputy commander honors women Marines at 60-year anniversary

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (USTCNS) --- Lt. Gen. Gary Hughey, deputy commander, United States Transportation Command, was the guest speaker at the St. Louis Chapter of the Women Marine Association luncheon held recently.

“We had female Marines in the first World War for a short period of time, but the unit was dissolved,” he said. “In February 1943, women were admitted to the continuous active service; 60 years of continuous and proud service. That’s why we are gathered here today.

“When I entered the corps 33 years ago, women in the Marines were administrative and financial clerks,” the general continued. “Today they are in nearly all occupations, serving on the fighting side of the corps except for infantry, artillery or armor. They are in the Gulf Region right now.”

In a message to the WMA organization, President George W. Bush said, “I commend the Women Marines Association for serving our veterans, members of our Armed Forces, and their families. Your heroism continues to inspire our citizens and freedom loving people around the world.”

Hughey went on to honor some women in the Marines.

“Mrs. Patty Schindler, vice president of the St. Louis Chapter, joined the Marines in 1952 during the Korean War,” Hughey pointed out. “She performed clerical work so that her male counterparts could go to the fight. She believes women joining the Marines today have so much greater opportunity than those in the Korean War era.”

First Lieutenant Jacquelyn Atkinson is company commander for Engineer Company, Combat Service Support Group 10. “She chose combat engineers to get as close to a combat arms Military Occupational Specialty as possible,” the general said, “and believes that the most rewarding experience in the Marine Corps is being able to lead Marines through peacetime and war.”

Hughey concluded by saying, “Each generation leaves a legacy which is certainly true of the women Marines. From World War II to Korea, Vietnam and the current Gulf War, each of you can be very proud of your part.”

The Women Marines Association is a nonprofit, nationally sanctioned, veterans organization. It is the only veteran organization that is solely for women who have or are proudly serving in the United Marine Corps. The first Chapter of WMA was formed in Washington, DC, in 1962 and chartered in 1964 along with six additional chapters. To date there are close to 80 local chapters and boasts a membership nearing 4,000. The national president is Lt. Gen. Carol A. Mutter, USMC (Ret.).

USTRANSCOM’s mission is to provide air, land and sea transportation for the Department of Defense, both in time of peace and time of war.
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