Famed Parris Island Marine base gets first woman General
Reynolds congratulates Col. Steven Hanson as he takes over her post at the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters April 28. Reynolds is also the first female Marine Corps general to hold a command post in a battle zone
Famed Parris Island Marine base gets first female general
By Mara Gay, 17th June 2011
A female general has been appointed to the top post at Parris Island, marking the first time ever that the famed Marine Corps training depot has been headed by a woman.
Brig. Gen. Loretta Reynolds is taking command of the historic South Carolina base today, where a gruelling training regime turns out 20,000 new Marines each year, just 2,400 of them women.
In the 96 years it has graduated recruits, Parris Island has never seen a female commander.
Loretta Reynolds is the first female general to take charge at the famed Marine Corps training depot at South Carolina’s Parris Island
Reynolds, who is also the first female Marine to have held a position of command in a battle zone, may be just the woman for the job.
In a yearlong tour of Afghanistan, the one-star general — one of only three female generals in the Marine Corps — lead five Marine battalions and a Bahraini company.
Reynolds is also the first female Marine Corps general to hold a command post in a battle zone
The Baltimore-raised Naval Academy alum served until recently as the head of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Pendleton, California.
She is credited with taking a military base in Afghanistan that was designed to serve 10,000 Marines and expanding it to accommodate the needs of 10,000 more, according to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force website.
Of more than 200,000 active-duty Marines, only 12,339 of them are women.
Reynolds and Hanson salute during a change of command ceremony April 28. The 200,000-member Marine Corps has just 1,224 female officers
Parris Island, which began accepting female recruits in 1949, remains the only Marine base that graduates women candidates.
Today, there are 1,224 female officers in the Marines, according to military figures.
As the top Marine at Parris Island, Reynolds will also be in charge of all Marine Corps recruiting in states east of the Mississippi River. She was promoted to Brig. General in January.
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