Category Archives: Female Marine

Marine Corps Recruit Attrition

The military and government agencies have done a number of specific studies and reports on Marine Corps Recruit attrition rates, including analysis of factors that increase or decrease the percentage of recruit attrition.

Recruit Attrition and the Training Unit Environment: 1981 report that compares attrition and performance of Marine Corps recruits who have and have not graduated high school. The conclusion was higher attrition occurred amongst recruits who did not graduate high school.

Trends in Attrition of High-Quality Military Recruits: A 1988 report that examines why attrition rates remained unchanged even after the military managed to recruit “higher quality” recruits.

Military Attrition: Better Screening of Enlisted Personnel Could Save Millions of Dollars: A 1997 report that lays out some statistics and arguments for better recruit screening processes

Emerging Issues In USMC Recruiting: Comparing Relative Attrition Risk Among Marine Corps Recruits: Published in 2006, this report examines Marine Corps boot camp attrition and documents recruit characteristics. It finds that the recruits with the lowest attrition rates are those that sign contracts as high school seniors, go to boot camp from June-September or October-January, are “high quality”, and meet weight-for-height retention standards.

Predictors of one-year attrition in female Marine Corps recruits: This 2009 study examines the demographic profiles and health-related predictors of female Marine recruit attrition.

First Female Marine

There are reports that the first female Marine did not serve openly as a female, but was actually disguised as a man. According to legend, Lucy Brewer served in the War of 1812 aboard the USS Constitution, although it is rumored that a young Massachusetts writer named Nathaniel Hill Wright created Lucy as a pen name and then wrote a series of narratives originally titled “The Adventures of Lucy Brewer”.

Whether Lucy Brewer was technically the first female Marine or not, it wouldn’t be for another 100 years before any female could openly, officially serve in the United States Marine Corps, and even then, the positions that women were allowed to serve in were very limited and only clerical in nature.

The first recognized female Marine was Opha M. Johnson who enlisted on August 13, 1918, the day after the Secretary of the Navy granted authority for women to enlist in the Marine Corps Reserve. World War I saw 305 female Marines serving. At that time, there was a military propaganda campaign that showed a now famous Marine Corps poster encouraging women to serve to “free a man to fight”, meaning that women could perform clerical duties that would allow the Corps to use their male Marines for battlefield positions.

First Female Marine? Lucy Brewer