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A detail of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band plays during a morning colors ceremony, in honor of Women’s History Month, aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., March 18. The band is composed of all non-commissioned officers as part of a Committed and Engaged Leadership Initiative.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Melissa Eschenbrenner

Marines honor women’s history for morning colors

18 Mar 2013 | Lance Cpl. Melissa Eschenbrenner 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

Since 1918, when the first female Marines enlisted into the Marine Corps, women have transcended obstacles and paved the way for new Marines today.

To honor the history of women Marines and Women’s History Month, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. held a morning colors ceremony, March 18.

Sergeants took charge as part of the commanding general of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Maj. Gen. Steven Busby’s Committed and Engaged Leadership Initiative. The Committed and Engaged Leadership Initiative is a campaign to empower non-commissioned officers to fine-tune their leadership skills to better the 3rd MAW.

“We ask people a very unfair question,” said Busby. “Who is the V.I.P. of 3rd MAW? Sometimes they say me or sergeant major, and I say ‘no, it’s the sergeant of Marines.’ We decided to let a sergeant lead and plan morning colors.”

The ceremony also consisted of platoon sergeants and a reviewing officer who were all females. A female sergeant also wore the dress blue uniform and performed sword manual to symbolize all women Marines as they are today.

“I was honored to be the here,” said Stewart, an F/A-18 equipment tester with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 11 and the reviewing officer of the formation. “It will help me in my career and progress in the Marine Corps. I am looking forward to seeing other [sergeants] do what I did today.”

As part of the ceremony, the guest of honor was Maj. Gen. Angela Salinas, the director of Manpower Management Division, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Headquarters Marine Corps, and the first woman in the Marine Corps to command a recruiting station. She is also the most senior women Marine currently in the Marine Corps.

“We are continuing the legacy every single day,” said Sgt. Leah Stewart, a Louisville, Ky., native. “I hope the women Marines take what I said and continue this great legacy of women who are Marines first.”