Col Julia E. Hamblet, USMC (Ret.), Director, Women Marines

Col Julia E. Hamblet, USMC (Ret.), Director, Women Marines, May 1, 1953-March 2, 1959.

“For some time, I had mixed feelings about the appropriateness of women serving in the regular Marine Corps. All Marines, officers and enlisted, were trained to fight, … an assignment legally prohibited to servicewomen. At that time, I was absolutely convinced of the need for a strong cadre of trained women reservists who could be quickly mobilized in the event of an emergency. Our Women Organized Reserve Platoons and our Volunteer Training Units gave the Marine Corps such a force. As Director of Women Reserve, I discovered that we could not get the active duty leaders we wanted for our reserve units without providing them the security of the regular service. I applied for a regular commission and was accepted, … a decision I never regretted in 22 years of active duty. … I followed Colonel Towle as Director of Women Marines and served in that position for six years. I finally went down to the Commandant and asked to be relieved. … I was blocking other women officers for promotion.”

Interview: Col Julia E. Hamblet, USMC, Ret., interviewed by Kate Scott, Williamsburg, VA, 13 February 2004, tape and transcript deposited at the Women’s Memorial Foundation, Arlington, VA.