Molly Marines Bowens and Baer

It was November 10, 1943, when the city of New Orleans dedicated the first United States monument of a woman in service uniform: “Molly Marine.” A local recruiter commissioned the statue to help recruit women during World War II. For female Marines around the world, Molly represents the countless contributions female Marines 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 Bowens and Baer. Coincidentally, we celebrate two Stephanies today.

PFC Bowens, Stephanie A., Rochester, NY

Plt 4012, N Co

Chosen by her platoon 21 April 2010 as Molly Marine

“Words can not even express the shocked look on my face when nominated for the honorable “Molly Marine” award.  I did not know that my fellow sisters saw me as being an example, a leader, and a motivator, responsible and unselfish. As I walked, well, ran to the yellow footprints, the first thing I thought was, “what am I doing here?” Through all the yelling, rushing, and feeling of NEVER knowing what is going on, I found that I was instantly changing. I particularly remember one day way in the beginning of training when all of us were depressed from missing home, hated boot camp and despised the word “scuzz” I walked in the head humming to myself “My Girl” by the Temptations.  I realized that by the time I hummed the chorus everyone in the head began softly humming it too.  We all smiled for a second because we needed it.  It was a moment I would never forget because we had all pulled together, which showed that we can develop teamwork and that our bond as sisters would eventually become unbreakable.”

PFC Baer, Stephanie A., Omaha, NE

Plt 4013, N Co

Chosen by her platoon 21 April 2010 as Molly Marine

“When I first told my family and friends that I wanted to join the military I got many mixed reactions, mostly pure surprise.  Then when I explained that I wanted to join the Marine Corps that changed to shock.  When asked why not a different branch of service for the same job, “I answered back how could I live with myself knowing I chose something simply for the fact that it was the easier path, there is no pride in that.”  Once I gave that answer the shock and trepidation that my family and friends once had turned to eminence, pride and support.  My family said that after I swore in, I had already walked a little taller and prouder.  The pride that I felt has been something that I have been driven to pass on to all of my fellow recruits–to not just meet a minimum standard or goal, but to surpass it and to know that you didn’t just join the military but that you will walk proud knowing that you joined the best and proudest branch of the military.”

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