Commentary: The Few, The Proud, The Women Marines

By:  Parisa Fetherson

Six women spanning the Corps’ history from World War II to the present
Six women spanning the Corps’ history from World War II to the present shared experiences about their time as Marines at the National Museum of the Marine Corps on Saturday, March 5, during The Women’s Marine Panel. From left Gunnery Sgt. Angela C. Mink, public affairs chief for Marine Forces Command, represented Operation Iraqi Freedom; Donna Genovese, a docent at the NMMC, represented Korea; Sgt. Maj. Yolanda M. Mayo, sergeant major of Marine Air Control Squadron 24, represented Operations Desert Shield, Storm and OIF; Patricia O’Malley Kelly, a docent at the NMMC, represented World War II; Mary Sue League, a docent at the NMMC, represented Vietnam; and Sgt. Jessica L. Raney, logistics chief for Marine Corps University here, represented OIF.

MCB QUANTICO, Va. — Since women Marines are usually the minority in their section⁄unit, they don’t always get an opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie, networking and mentoring with each other that their male counterparts enjoy on a regular basis.

The Women Marines Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization comprised of women who have served or are serving honorably in the United States Marine Corps regular or reserve components. WMA is the only veterans association for and about women Marines and was established in Denver in 1960 to ensure that women’s history as Marines would continue to be told and passed on to a new generation of Marines. This is information can be found on the WMA website, However, what you may not find there is evidence of the outreach efforts of the WMA chapters and members across the nation who work on community programs and support our military personnel, our veterans and their communities. This is only one reason why women Marines should consider joining the WMA.

Becoming a member of WMA gives women Marines the opportunity to interact with other women Marines, some of whose shoulders we stand upon because they have ‘‘blazed a trail” for current and future generations of women Marines. Then there are those members who just might be the contact we need to pursue a new endeavor (personal or professional). And there are those WMA members who simply give us that ‘‘shot of motivation” we need because they can relate to the successes and challenges of being a female Marine.

You can get all this and more by joining WMA and participating in the local chapter’s various events.

The local chapter for MCB Quantico and the surrounding community is the Crossroads VA-1 chapter. I know there are many female Marines who are not aware that WMA exists and then there are those who have heard of WMA but don’t really know what we’re about.

As the recently elected president, my goal is to bring awareness to the organization, increase membership (especially active duty), and conduct more outreach and mentoring events on base and in the community that appeal to all female Marines, active and separated. Of course we’ll still have those gatherings where we’re just having fun and enjoying each other’s company at gatherings such as the annual Women Marines anniversary luncheon (held each Feburary), ice cream social and holiday party.

We are always looking for ways that we can assist others, share information, and have a good time.

If you have ideas and want to become a part of WMA Crossroads VA-1, we’ll be glad to have you. The VA-1 chapter meets quarterly for meetings or social events. WMA events can be professional, informational, or social or a combination of each.

The Women Marines Association is looking for The Few, The Proud, The Women Marines. If you are a woman Marine, regular or reserve, and are currently serving on active duty or honorably discharged, separated or retired, visit the WMA website at

If you’re interested in the Crossroads VA-1 Chapter, send an e-mail to

—  Ms. Fetherson is the Women Marines Association Crossroads chapter president

Note: This story originally appeared the Quantico Sentry. WMA has local chapters around the Country as well as overseas and online.