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United States Marine Corps

The United States Marine Corps is considered by many to be the tip of the spear of the United States armed forces. Below is information on some of the women who serve in the US Marines.

See here for the official page of the United States Marine Corps.

Follow the links below for women in other branches of the United States military. 

Major General Mary Ann Krusa-Dossin

Major General Krusa-Dossin was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in August 1975 through Officer Candidate School. After graduating from the Basic School at Quantico and Military Police Officers Basic Course at Fort McClellan in 1976, she served as Platoon Commander with the Security Department of MCAS El Toro. In January 1979 she served as the Training and Human Affairs Officer with Marine Aircraft Group-15, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. In July 1979 she transferred to Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan to serve as the Operations Officer of the Provost Marshal's Office.

In February 1981 Major General Krusa-Dossin served as Director of one of the Marine Corps' first Family Service Centers at Camp Lejeune. After graduating from the Military Police Officers Advanced Course at Fort McClellan in 1984, she served with the Provost Marshal's Office, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. In December 1985, after completing the School of Police Staff and Command at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, she became Provost Marshal at MCAS New River. She attended Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Quantico in 1987 and in July 1988 she served as Provost Marshal at MCAS Yuma until May 1991 when she assumed command of the Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron.

In August 1992 Major General Krusa-Dossin became the Executive Officer of Headquarters and Service Battalion at MCB Camp Smedley D. Butler, Okinawa as well as Deputy Camp Commander, Camp Foster and Camp Lester. In June 1993, she assumed command of the Battalion and both camps. She transferred to the Pentagon in July 1996 to serve as an action officer with the Joint Staff, J-7, Operational Plans and Interoperability Directorate. In July 1998 she assumed command of Security Battalion, MCB Camp Pendleton. She then served as the Assistant Chief of Staff, Marine Corps Community Services, MCB Camp Pendleton from July 2000 until June 2002. She transferred to the Pentagon in July 2002 to serve as the Deputy Director, Marine Corps Public Affairs and in June 2003 she assumed the duties of Director, Marine Corps Public Affairs. In September 2006 she assumed command of Marine Corps Base, Camp S.D. Butler, Okinawa, Japan.

Major General Krusa-Dossin earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Sociology in 1974 from Texas Christian University. In 1981 she earned a Master of Science Degree in Human Relations from Golden Gate University. In 1995 she earned a Master of Science Degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University.

General Frances Wilson

General Frances Wilson is currently assigned as the Commandant, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Ft McNair, DC.

General Wilson was born in Nassau County, Long Island, NY and raised in Arlington, VA. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in social sciences from Michigan State University. Commissioned a Second Lieutenant in November 1972, she was the Honor Graduate and recipient of the Leadership Award from Marine Corps Women Officer Basic School.

Following air traffic control school in Glynco, GA, she served as an ATC Officer in Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, AZ. In January 1975, General Wilson reported to Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe, HI, and continued ATC duties. She then proceeded to Marine Corps Development and Education Center, Quantico, VA, where she taught at Instructional Management School for a year and then became a student at Amphibious Warfare School. Following graduation she went to Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC, to attend the Administration Officer course en route to Okinawa where she was the Staff Secretary, 3d Marine Division from June 1980 to 1981.

General Wilson's next assignment was at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, from July 1981 to July 1984. Here she was a company officer in the Brigade of Midshipmen for two years and an assistant professor in the Professional Development Department her last year. During her last summer she escorted a group of midshipmen and completed the Army Basic Airborne course at Fort Benning, GA. Following a June graduation with the 1985 class of the College of Naval Command and Staff, Naval War College, Newport, RI, General Wilson was assigned to Manpower and Reserve Affairs Department, Headquarters, Marine Corps as a manpower management analyst. During January 1987, she was reassigned to the Joint Staff as the Special Assistant for General and Flag Officer Matters. In October 1987, she was chosen to serve as the Executive Assistant to the Vice Director, Joint Staff.

General Wilson commanded the Fourth Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, from July 1988 through July 1990. She next completed a Commandant of the Marine Corps sponsored Federal Executive Fellowship at the Brookings Institution, Washington, DC. From July 1991 to 1993 she was assigned to the Headquarters, Marine Forces Pacific as a Requirements and Programs officer. She was next the Commander, Camp H. M. Smith and concurrently commanded Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Forces Pacific, before returning to the Washington, DC area in January 1995. Following an interim assignment with the Roles and Missions Coordination Group, Headquarters, Marine Corps, she served as the Secretary, Joint Staff, until July 1997.

Completing the Capstone course at National Defense University, General Wilson was assigned as the Commanding General, Marine Corps Base, Quantico, VA through May 1999. She next proceeded to Okinawa, Japan where she was the Commanding General, Third Force Service Support Group through June 2001. Before assuming her current position, she was the Director, Personnel Management Division, M&RA, Headquarters, Marine Corps. During this period she also served on the Secretary of Defense's Reserve Force Policy Board.

General Wilson is also a graduate of Pepperdine University with a Master of Arts in Education, the University of Northern Colorado with a Master of Arts in psychology, Salve Regina College with a Master of Science in business management, Naval War College with a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies, and the University of Southern California with a Doctor of Education.

General Wilson has been awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal, and is authorized to wear the Basic Parachutist Badge and the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff identification badges.

Major General Angela Salinas 

Angela Salinas is a retired Major General of the US Marine Corps.  She was the first Hispanic woman to become a US Marine Corps general officer and the sixth woman in the Marine Corps to reach the rank of brigadier general. She was also the first woman in the Marine Corps to command a recruiting station and the first woman to serve as a recruiting district commanding officer.  Within 39 years of service, Salinas was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal and was the highest ranking female officer in the Marines when she retired in 2013.

Raised by two Mexican immigrants, Salinas was the first in her family to graduate from college. She began her military career when she enlisted into the Marine Corps in May 1974. Following recruit training at Parris Island, S.C., she served as a legal services clerk until 1977 when she was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and commissioned a second lieutenant in December 1977.

She has commanded at every rank and has served in a variety of staff positions throughout the Marine Corps. In June 1989, Brigadier General Salinas assumed command of Recruiting Station Charleston where she became the first woman in the Marine Corps to command a recruiting station. In June 1992, she became the first woman assigned as a combat service support ground monitor responsible for the assignments of over 1000 senior officers. She was the first female assigned as a plans and policy officer for a major combatant command in 1999, and in May 2001 when she assumed command of the 12th Marine Corps District, became the first woman to serve as a recruiting district commanding officer. She is the first woman to command the Marine Corps Recruit Depot/Western Recruiting Region in San Diego, CA.

Brigadier General Salinas is a 1976 graduate of Dominican College of San Rafael, CA, where she received her B.A. in history. She received her Master�s from the Naval War College in 1992. She is a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School, the Naval War College�s Command and Staff College and the Army War College.

Brigadier General Margaret A. Brewer 

Brigadier General Margaret A. Brewer retired from the Marine Corps on July 1, 1980. She was the first female general in the Marine Corps.

Born in Durand, Mich., in 1930, she received her primary education in Michigan but graduated from the Catholic High School in Baltimore, Md., prior to entering the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. She received a bachelor's degree in geography in January 1952, and was commissioned a Marine second lieutenant in March of that year. Her first assignment was at the Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, Calif., where she served as a communications watch officer until June 1953. She was then transferred to Brooklyn, N.Y. for a two-year tour as Inspector-Instructor of a woman Marine reserve unit.

From September 1955 until June 1958, then Captain Brewer served successively as Commanding Officer of the woman Marine companies at Norfolk, Va., and Camp Lejeune, N.C. During the 18 months following, she was a platoon commander for woman officer candidates at Quantico, Va., during summer training sessions, and for the balance of time, a woman officer selection officer with headquarters in Lexington, Ky.

Transferred to Camp Pendleton, Calif., in November 1959, for duty with the Commissioned Officers Mess (Open), she was promoted to major in September 1961 and in April 1963 returned to Quantico to serve as executive officer and later as commanding officer of the Woman Officer School. From June 1966 to February 1968, she was the Public Affairs Officer for the 6th Marine Corps District, Atlanta, Ga., where she was promoted to lieutenant colonel in December 1966.

She served as Deputy Director of Women Marines, at Headquarters Marine Corps, from March 1968 to March 1971. She was promoted to colonel in December 1970. Reporting to Quantico, she assumed duty as Special Assistant to the Director, Marine Corps Education Center. She became Chief of the Support Department, Marine Corps Education Center in June 1972, serving in this capacity until she was selected as the seventh Director of Women Marines on February 1, 1973.

On July 1, 1977, then Colonel Brewer assumed duty as Deputy Director of the Division of Information, Headquarters Marine Corps, when the Director of Women Marines' office was disbanded because of the strides made in integrating women into an expanded role in the Corps. For meritorious service as the Director of Women Marines, she was presented the Legion of Merit by the Commandant of the Marine Corps on June 30, 1977.

She became a brigadier general and assumed duty as Director of Information on May 11, 1978, at which time she became the first female general officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. On December 1, 1979, the Division of Information was redesignated as the Division of Public Affairs, and Brigadier General Brewer's title was changed to Director of Public Affairs. She served in this capacity until retirement on July.

Brigadier General Gail M. Reals

Brigadier General Gail M. Reals was born September 1, 1935 in Syracuse, N.Y. She attended school in Manlius, N.Y., and Powelson Business Institute in Syracuse, N.Y.

Entering the Marine Corps on Sept. 30, 1954, she completed Recruit Training at Parris Island, S.C., and was assigned as a stenographer at Marine Corps Schools, Quantico. In November 1955, she transferred to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., and served three years as a secretary in the office of the Chief of Staff.

During January 1959, she transferred overseas for a two-year tour at Headquarters, U.S. European Command, Paris, France, for duty as chief clerk, J-3, Operations Section. Returning to the United States in January 1961, she served as private secretary to the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. She was accepted for the Woman Officer Candidate Class in June 1961, and upon completion of training in September 1961, was commissioned a second lieutenant.

Following her commissioning, she was assigned as Executive Officer, Woman Marne Company at Quantico. She returned to Headquarters Marine Corps in December 1963, for duty as Commanding Officer of the Woman Marine Company and Adjutant, Woman Marine Detachment. From January 1964 until December 1966, General Reals was the Commanding Officer, Woman Marine Company, Headquarters Battalion, Henderson Hall.

She attended the WAC Officer Career Course, WAC Training Center, Fort McClellan, Alabama, from January to June 1967, and upon completion of school spent five months as an instructor at the Woman Officer School, Quantico. She was next assigned as the Base Adjutant, Marine Corps Base, Twentynine Palms, Calif., from November 1967 to October 1968.

Following this short tour she became the Personnel Officer, Company B, Marine Security Guard Battalion, Beirut, Lebanon until December 1970. Reporting back to Parris Island in January 1971, she served as Executive Officer and Commanding Officer, Woman Recruit Training Battalion, until June 1973.

General Reals completed the Marine Corps Command and Staff College at Quantico in June 1974, and returned to Headquarters Marine Corps, as the Head, Administrative Branch, Inspection Division. During July 1977, she returned to Parris Island to command the Woman Recruit Training Command.

In October 1979, she returned to Headquarters Marine Corps for duty as Head, Human Resources Branch, Manpower Department, serving in this assignment until August 1981, when she was selected to attend the Naval War College, Newport. R.I. Upon graduation, General Reals went overseas for duty as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-I, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, on Okinawa.

Transferred back to Quantico in August 1983, she served as the Assistant Chief of Staff, Personnel and Services, Education Center. She then served as the Assistant Chief of Staff, Manpower, Marine Corps Development and Education Command until December 1984. She assumed the position as Chief of Staff, Marine Corps Development and Education Command on Dec 10 1984. While serving in this assignment, she was selected in February 1985 for promotion to brigadier general. She was advanced to her present grade on May 15, 1985, and assigned duty as Director, Manpower Plans and Policy Division, Headquarters Marine Corps on June 21, 1985. General Reals served in this capacity until assuming her current assignment on July 7, 1988.

Lieutenant General Carol A. Mutter

Lieutenant General Carol A. Mutter retired from the U.S. Marine Corps effective January 1, 1999. Her last assignment was as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (DC/S, M&RA), Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C.

General Mutter was born in Greeley, CO in 1945. In 1967 she was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps upon graduation from the University of Northern Colorado, in Greeley, CO. In addition to holding a B.A. degree in Mathematics Education and an honorary doctorate from UNC, General Mutter has an M.A. degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College at Newport, RI and both an M.S. and an honorary doctorate degree from Salve Regina College, also in Newport.

After completing the Woman Officer Basic Course in 1967 at Quantico, VA, she was assigned to data processing installations at Quantico, VA and at Camp Pendleton, CA. In 1971, she returned to Quantico as a platoon commander and instructor for women officer candidates and basic course lieutenants; she departed this tour as a Captain of Marines.

During 1973-1984, she progressed to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel while serving as Project Officer for Marine Air Command and Control Systems at Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity, Camp Pendleton, CA; Financial Management Officer at the Development Center, Quantico, VA; Assistant Chief of Staff, Comptroller, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Okinawa, Japan; and Deputy Comptroller at Headquarters, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, Norfolk, VA. In 1985, capitalizing on her expertise in both data processing and financial management, she was assigned as the Deputy Program Manager, and subsequently Program Manager, for the development of new Marine Corps automated pay and personnel systems for active duty, retired, and reserve Marines.

In July 1988 as a Colonel she joined the U.S. Space Command, J-3 (Operations) Directorate in Colorado Springs becoming the first woman to gain qualification as a Space Director. After initially serving as a Command Center Crew Commander/Space Director she became the Division Chief responsible for the operation of the Space Command Commander in Chief's Command Center.

August 1990 brought a transfer to III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) on Okinawa, Japan and duty as the Assistant Chief of Staff, Comptroller for both III MEF and 3d Marine Division. In June 1991, she returned to Quantico as a Brigadier General to serve as the Deputy Commanding General, Marine Corps Systems Command and Program Manager for Command and Control Systems. In June 1992, she again transferred to Okinawa, this time as the first woman of general/flag officer rank to command a major deployable tactical command, the 3d Force Service Support Group, III MEF, U.S. Marine Forces Pacific. In June 1994, she became the first woman Marine Major General and served as Commander, Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, VA. Upon advancement to Lieutenant General (the first woman in the Marine Corps to attain this rank) on September 1, 1996, she assumed her duties as DC/S M&RA.

In addition to the Naval War College at Newport, RI, General Mutter has attended the Amphibious Warfare School and the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, both at Quantico, VA.

Major General Tracy Garrett

Major General Tracy Garrett is a former NROTC student and 1978 graduate of the University of Washington, where she received her BA in English. She was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps in June 1978. Upon completion of the Basic School, as well as her occupational specialty school, she served on active duty with the 1st Marine Division through June of 1981.

Upon joining the Reserves, BGen Garrett began a long association with 4th Landing Support Battalion (LSB), serving initially as the Battalion S-4A/Maintenance Management Officer in 1981-1984, then Headquarters and Service Company Executive Officer in 1984-1985 and later as the H&S Company Commander in 1986-1988, Battalion Operations Officer in 1992-1994 and finally as the Battalion Executive Officer in 1995. BGen Garrett also held billets as a Mobilization Operational Readiness Deployment Test (MORDT) inspector and as a member of the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Staff Training Program (MSTP) in Quantico, VA. In 1996, she was appointed by the Secretary of the Navy to the Marine Corps Reserve Policy Board and served as a member for two years. She was in command of 4th LSB from August 1999 until September 2001.

Following that assignment, she served as the Reserve Special Staff Officer for the 12th Marine Corps Recruiting District, responsible for overseeing the Reserve officers and senior enlisted Marines who support the recruiting effort of the eight Recruiting Stations from Seattle to San Diego and Salt Lake City. In October 2002, BGen Garrett took command of the 4th Force Service Support Group (FSSG) Forward (West) at Camp Pendleton. In November of 2002, she began to serve on active duty with the 1st FSSG as the Commander, 1st FSSG (Rear) and then again as the Chief of Staff, 1st FSSG (Rear) until she was relieved at the end of August. In July 2004, BGen Garrett was again activated and was assigned as the Chief of Staff, 1st FSSG (Deployed). She served in Iraq from September 2004 through March 2005. She was released from active duty on May 2, 2005 and assumed duties as the Deputy Commander, 4th Marine Logistics Group. Upon activation and deployment of the Commanding General in January 2007, BGen Garrett assumed the duties as Acting Commanding General, 4th Marine Logistics Group. She then served as the Inspector General of the Marine Corps from September 2007 to September 2008. She retired from service May 8, 2014.

BGen Garrett is a graduate of the Reserve Amphibious Warfare Course, Reserve Command and Staff Course, Reserve Intelligence Officers Course and the Advanced Logistics Officers Course. In 1997-1998, she attended the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island as a full time student and received her master's degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.