icon Groundbreaking Marines

Articles about pioneering Marines who made Marine Corps history.

World War II and the Origins of DiversityOwen L. Conner and Charles GrowLeatherneck February 2012Among the many inspirational stories clearly told by the National Museum of the Marine Corps is of diversity in the Corps.
Montford Point Marines: Honoring and Preserving Their LegacyCoral Anika TheillLeatherneck February 2011The story of the Corps’ first African American Marines and how they are being honored today.
Breaking Barriers Interview with a Montford Point MarineKwame GyamfiLeatherneck
February 2020
An interview with Sgt Primus Kinlaw, USMC (Ret), one of the original Montford Point Marines.
A Woman’s Place Is In The Ranks Part 1Guy AnselmoLeatherneck February 1987Thousands of women joined the Corps during World War II in order to “Free a Man to Fight.”
A Woman’s Place Is In The Ranks! Part II Guy AnselmoLeatherneck March 1987The conclusion to the story of female Marines in World War II.
21st AnniversarySSgt Joan AmbroseLeatherneck February 1964The Women Marines celebrate the 21st anniversary of the first women to enter the Marine Corps.
Women in Combat Arms UnitsSgtMaj David K. DevaneyGazette June
We’re not culturally ready.
Women in CombatMaj Amy “Krusty” McGrathGazette November 2012The bogus old arguments rise again (a rebuttal).
Why Women Do Not Belong in the U.S. InfantryCapt Lauren F. SerranoGazette September 2014Marine infantry isn’t broken, it doesn’t have to be “fixed”
Outside Our LaneLtCol Maria PallottaGazette January 2015Bold and daring women do belong in all combat arms. A Rebuttal to “Why Women Do Not Belong in the U.S. Infantry.”
Why Women DO Belong in the U.S. InfantryCapt Eric HoveyGazette February 2015What the U.S. wants is what the USMC needs.
Women in Combat: A View From the TopMajGen Gene A. DeeganGazette September 1992An extract from Gen Deegan’s statement to the President’s Commission on Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces on 25 June 1992 and from remarks made to his staff and subordinate commanders at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island.
Voices of Our Ancestors: The Navajo Code Talkers’ StoryLCpl William WaterstreetLeatherneck October 2012Navajo Code Talkers visit MCAS Yuma, Ariz., to key handsets one more time for today’s leathernecks.
Navajo Yil-tas Ha-neh-al-enjiTom BartlettLeatherneck June 1980A small group of Navajos served as Marine communicators during WWII. Their effectiveness prompted one Marine officer to state: “Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima.”
Indian War CallVernon LangilleLeatherneck March 1948The “hidden” language of the Navajos provided the Marine Corps with a foolproof code to foul up the Japanese.
Navajo Code TalkersMTSgt Murrey MarderGazette September 1945For three years their strange language served the Marine Corps well for transmitting secret radio and telephone messages in combat.
The Unbreakable CodeIsabel SimmonsGazetteThe Navajo code talkers created a “code no enemy can decipher” during World War II.
“Gray Eagle” LtGen Petersen Earns New TitleSSgt T.L. DunnLeatherneck November 1987In 1987, LtGen Frank E. Petersen became the senior ranking aviator in the Department of the Navy.
The “Godfather” Gets A StarTom BartlettLeatherneck May
The “Godfather” Frank E. Petersen, Jr. became the first black Marine selected to receive a star in the Marine Corps.
Onto RichmondFrank H. RentfrowLeatherneck
How Cpl John Mackie became the first Marine to earn the Medal of Honor.
Giants of the Corps: John MackieLarry JamesLeatherneckThe Legacy of John Mackie, the first Marine Medal of Honor recipient.
SgtMaj Edward R. Huff: Paving The WayTom BartlettLeatherneck
SgtMaj Edward R. Huff was the first African-American in the USMC to be promoted to the rank of Sergeant Major.