The city of New Orleans dedicated the first United States monument of a woman in service uniform: “Molly Marine” November 10, 1943. A local recruiter commissioned the statue to help recruit women during World War II. For female Marines around the world, Molly has come to represent the countless significant contributions they have made to the Corps. She has become a symbol of esprit de corps for all women Marines. Just before graduation from boot camp, the female recruits are asked to name one woman within their platoon who best exemplifies esprit de corps.
Here, we celebrate two of our newest sisters, Privates First Class Ramsey and Magana-Saldivar, who’ve been recognized as Molly Marines. The new Marines completed recruit training and march across the parade deck in Parris Island, SC, January 21. Please join us in welcoming PFCs Ramsey and Magana-Saldivar to the World’s Finest! Following are excerpts from essays the Marines wrote about being selected.
PFC Hannah L. Ramsey, Platoon 4002, O Company, Scottsdale, AZ
“Graduating Marine Corps recruit training and becoming one of the few and the proud is an honorable achievement in itself, but there are additional honors that allow few to graduate with distinction. Guide and squad leaders are chosen leaders who keep the platoon working as a cohesive unit. The qualities they possess are highly valued in the fleet and in normal civilian lives. The Iron Women are those who show higher physical ability than other recruits around them. To graduate at the top of your platoon is an outstanding achievement granted to the Honor Graduate. All of these are ways to distinguish the bare minimum recruits from those who go above and beyond. As a Molly Marine, you are recognized by the other recruits as someone who exceeds the basic standards of a recruit. … A Molly Marine has integrity, sets the example, and helps others before helping herself. She is dedicated to doing what is right even when no one is looking. Integrity is the leadership trait which describes a Molly Marine the most, she exemplifies it, by doing what is right and always being honest and having the courage to admit when she is wrong no matter what the consequences are. She upholds herself above the standard and is completely reliable. She always has the intestinal fortitude to follow her moral compass, and her integrity is her prize. Without these qualities she would not be living within the Marine Corps standards.”
PFC Maria J. Magana-Saldivar, Platoon 4003, O Company, Reno, NV
“‘Discipline is the instant willing obedience to all orders, respect for authority, self-reliance, and teamwork, ma’am.’ When I arrived at Parris Island, I did not know that the weeks to come would change my life and change me as a person. The things I have learned here will be instilled in me forever. Since the first day I have given 110% and have helped my sisters in need and those who lacked motivation. I try to do my best and be a good leader and set the right example at all times. I hold true to my heart honor, courage, and commitment and will continue to display those values in everything I do. [A Molly Marine] is a symbol of what the Marine Corps standards are and what every Marine should be.”