5 March 1974 — Boot Camp Graduation
After what felt like the LONGEST eight weeks in our lives, the day we all worked so hard for finally arrived. Monday, 5 March 1974, Graduation Day for Platoons 1 A&B at Woman Recruit Training Battalion, MCRD Parris Island, S.C. We received our Eagles, Globes, & Anchors and could now officially be called Marines, and sing The Marine Corps Hymn! This was a turning point; the last day as a recruit and the first real days of our Marine Corps careers.
The training, my fellow recruits, and the memories we all shared will last a lifetime. We may not remember each other’s names, but we will never forget the experiences and the two women who transformed us into Marines, our Drill Instructors:
Senior Drill Instructor Sergeant Sandra Ingram and Assistant Drill Instructor Sergeant Gay Doman
They took complete control of our lives for eight weeks, breaking us down, transforming us from civilians into a hard-charging team of WM’s (Women Marines). They provided more anxiety than we ever experienced in our lives, weeding out the weak and make the strong stronger. They were our mothers and fathers, preachers, teachers, therapists, cheerleaders, and most importantly our disciplinarians. At times we may have hated them but in the end, they were our heroes.
Forty-seven years ago, we were ready to leave the nest and go on to the next phase of our careers. Who chose to stay in after the first three or four years? How many stayed for twenty, or even thirty! Who would have thought at the time?
I want to shout out a special “Happy Anniversary” to some of my fellow Marines from Platoon 1A: SARAH FARKAS; SHANNON HUNGERFORD HARLAN; AMY MATHER BIELMA; BRENDA KMETZ KATHMAN (Molly Marine); And a very special wish to my dear friend CAPTAIN KAY BEYER BAKER, Ph.D. We’ve come a long way Girlfriend, since the day we met 2 January 1974.
To all Women Marines everywhere, Semper Fi Sisters!