When did the Marines start taking women?

My aunt joined the Marines (I presume the reserves) sometime during WWII. I’m trying to figure out about when that might have been. Were they taking women into the corps as early as 1938 or 1939? Wiki is not clear on that. Seems like there wouldn’t have been a strongly perceived need for women that early in the war, but I don’t know and that’s why I’m asking. Any info, Dopers? xo, C.

I found this on several sites:

In WWII, women were joining the marines as part of their “free a man to fight” campaign. In other words, women would take non-combat roles so that there were more men available for combat duty.

Women marines first went into combat positions during the Vietnam war.

ETA: The “free a man to fight” campaign started in 1943.

“Combat positions” does not mean in one of the Combat Arms (infantry, artillery, armor), where they still cannot serve today. Positions in which they were vaguely susceptible to enemy fire may be more accurate. And at any one time from 1967 to 1973 there were no more than about 13 WMs in country, total who served there was 28 enlisted, eight officers. They were not armed.


(PDF source)

They served with MACV (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam) as Historian, Service Record Book auditors, and the like.


Oh, marines.

Until I read your post, I wasn’t sure what you meant by “taking” women.

My gut response after reading the title was “As soon as they waded ashore.” I hate it when a good joke goes gets rendered usless by stupid facts.

Lucy Brewer posed as a man and served in the Marine company aboard the USS Constitution during the War of 1812.

Except that she only existed as a fictional creation that was mistaken for historic fact. Still, it’d make a good movie.

Well the usual quote is “If a Marine is your date , a bed is your fate”