Semper Fi: The Marines Want African-American Women To Join The Few, The Proud

November 12, 2012  |  

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On Veterans Day, the US honors its military. And one branch, the Marines, wants you. A new Marine ad is targeting multicultural recruits, including African American women.

Titled, “Fighting With Purpose,” the campaign was created by the advertising and marketing firms UniWorld Group, an African-American ad agency, and JWT. The new ad features 1st Lt. Drexel King, an African-American based at Camp Pendleton, and Capt. Monica Meese, a Latina raised in Irvine and based at Joint Base Andrews, Md.

With more and more African Americans entering military service, the Marines was to attract them to their ranks. “In the last fiscal year, 4.7% of those joining as Marine Corps officers were African American and 8.4% were Hispanic. In the overall force, enlisted and officer, the Marine Corps has 10% African American and 12.9% Hispanic,” reports The LA Times.  Women make up about 7 percent of the Marine Corps.

The Marines are responding to what they saw during the election cycle: the changing demographics in the U.S., the LA Times says. “Polling and market research had shown that men and women in the 17 to 24 age group are attracted by the Marine Corps’ tradition of being ‘first to fight,’ but also its involvement in humanitarian missions. Also, minorities and women are interested in being leaders and role models in their communities, according to the polling and research,” the paper writes.

Of the 167,000 enlisted women in the military, 31 percent are black (53 percent are white women). “Black women are enlisting in the military at far higher rates than are white or Hispanic women, and they now represent nearly a third of all the women in the armed forces, a new study by the Pew Research Center has found,” according to an article in The New York Times.

Right now, the Marines aren’t the first choice for African-Americans women. The first military branch of choice, the NY Times says: The Air Force. The last choice: The Marines. “The study also found that women were far more likely than men to serve in the Air Force, but far less likely to join the Marine Corps.”

The first black female Marines enlisted in 1949.

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  • sheena

    Please don;t be fooled by this ploy!

  • Nope

    Women don’t want any part of this during wartime. There little movement for equality and representation in the military disappeared as soon as the first war in Iraq broke out in the early 90s.

  • simple answer. nope! its a copout. unless you wanted to join the service every since you were little and you really want to serve this country, go ahead. But if you are only doing it for the benefits, then you are doing it for the wrong reason, with huge risks attached. And do you even know what your fighting for? i don’t care about retiring at 60, because hopefully i will have a job doing what i love.

  • Cleo

    There is no way in hell I would fight or die for this country.

  • Kiyoko Kayo Hisoka

    Who wants to deal with sexism and racism on that level?

    • ieshapatterson

      i agree.if they want us,then they need to do something about the racist and sexist clowns,that they put in charge of,the rates of rapes,in the over all military is getting higher and higher.when they fixes those problems,then i’ll consider joining.

      • GeekMommaRants

        Agreed!!! Co-sign and yeah you right!!! Yeah men can be well.. not human!

  • GeekMommaRants

    As a veteran, I think this is a good thing. Combat Support being the limit for woman and NOT combat. I say this, because it’s easy to say, it is however not reality, if your unit is caught, you have to fight, this now happens everyday. So HOOAA! Get your benefits and salary and retire after 20 years of working! Yeah, that would be 20 years not 40!

    • Na Na

      My only issue with this is the same people, maybe even you, would fight tooth and nail against gay marriage or 9/11, but would go and join an army full of people bombing entire nations of innocent families and blow up people for no reason. Yet you will enlist for some money??? I just never understood peoples whose mind frames are so righteous when they’re at home in their hometown going to church with Grandma Sug but will join the army for 50,000 and a G.I Bill to go and obliterate non threatening countries.

      Not referring specifically to you but your comment brought this to mind.

      • GeekMommaRants

        Agreed, only as you wisely stated I’m will fight for two things my benefits (you ain’t lied) and my African American country.

  • get real

    Let these crazy white folks go die for George Bush’s wars.

  • @chanela:disqus That was so uncalled for.

    • chanela

      really? i’m just saying.. so many women are being raped in the damn military! obviously not all, but too many.

      • Pivyque

        Just for the record, women are getting raped everywhere. I’m not excusing what happens in the military, but rape is not exclusive to the military. Some report my sister showed me the other day said 8/10 women on campus have been a victim of rape or attempted rape. So, if we are going based off statistics, you have a better chance of being raped in college than you do in the military. It’s sad that rape is so common, but with it being hard to put rapists behind bars because the victim needs “proof beyond a reasonable doubt”, it’s something that all of us have to worry about no matter where we are.

  • They are really reaching now. True there are benefits of military service: school paid for, full benefits, retirement and if done properly a career traveling the world on the govts dime. downside: away from kids and family for long periods, possible dismembering from war and death. Is one worth the other is the question.

    • Pivyque

      Well, you could die or be dismembered in a car crash, at a movie theater, in an air plane accident or at work (think 9/11)…I come from a military family, all my uncles, both grandfathers and my dad retired military with no injuries and they have been to war zones many times. So, I say the military is definitely worth the risk. It provides great opportunities. Heck, my mom was even in before she had kids! lol

      • no. The probability of those events happening are far lower than death in the military or marines. Going to work doesn’t mean im going to die from a terrorist attack. Going to the movies doesn’t mean im going to get shot. It is unlikely to die in these circumstances, only by chance. The service on the other hand, you’re basically saying “hey, i’m signing up, i know i can die”.

        • Pivyque

          Well everyone is going to die. So…whether you join the military or not, you should know you can die, but the point I was making is that you can die anywhere. Probability wasn’t my argument. However, I have known more people that have been killed or hurt in a wreck than I have from serving in the military. Me for example…I did not get any injuries from being in the military but I did break some bones in a car wreck that was caused by a drunk driver.

      • Na Na

        I would never join the military not because of the casualty rate but because I don’t stand for or represent most anything the US goes to war for. In the words of Lupe Fiasco “No I can’t pledge allegiance to your flag cause I can’t find no reconciliation with your past.”

        No disrespect at all to your fam but I cant fight for something that my morals don’t align with.

        • Pivyque

          No disrespect taken. I feel you. It’s not for everyone, but my family does believe in what the military is meant to stand for.

          • Na Na

            Thank you for taking that the way I meant it, sometime people on here fly off the deep end!

  • chanela

    why? they need more women to rape?

    • Pivyque

      Wow…is that what you think of the military in general or just the Marines?

      • Nikki

        Personally, I think that of the military in general.

        • Pivyque

          Wow. I hate to hear that. Our guys get a bad rep for something a handful of them may do. It’s unfortunate.

          • Nikki

            You’re right, it is unfortunate. I think the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to joining the military. Yes, there are wonderful veterans discounts and other financial benefits you get after you serve, but I couldn’t do it.

            • Don’t let this pr blitzkrieg fool you. They use young, impressionable, naive kids like toilet paper and discard them the same way. They don’t tell you about all these kids coming back from Iraq/Afghanistan and the high suicide rates or the fact that a military veteran is more likely to become homeless than the general population. (women 4x as likely & men 2x as likely)

              • Nikki

                That’s exactly where I’m coming from! PTSD is something that you need years and years of therapy for and those memories never go away. You have to learn to adjust back to society. How many times have I come off the interstate and see someone holding a “Homeless Veteran” sign?

              • Pivyque

                I see what you are saying, but the military has come a long way in that department. There are more than enough avenues for those soldiers to get help. They have to admit that they have a problem first. There are a lot of soldiers that don’t want to appear weak, so they hide the fact that they may have an issue. The military not only offers counseling and readjustment services, but they are willing to pay for their counseling if they want to choose their own therapist. PTSD and suicide prevention are the main issues now. I’m sure that most of it depends on the unit and how the commander of said unit runs things, but the military handles PTSD and suicide prevention the same way they handle everything else. They give you the tools, you just have to decide if you want to use them. As far as military vets being homeless…that is not entirely the military’s fault. They offer financial planning. The military covers EVERYTHING while they are in AND provides extra money so that they have the chance to save (assuming that they decide to live within their means). If they are kicked out for misconduct or decided to get out of the military before being eligible for retirement benefits, how is that the military’s fault for them being homeless? That could be due to a lot of different reasons. They could have lost their post military job and could no longer make the payments or gotten a divorce and the spouse got the house. People LOVE to talk about all of the negatives and seem to forget that not only is the military necessary, but it provides great opportunities for those that are interested. Smh.

            • Pivyque

              Yeah, to each its own. The military is definitely not for everyone.

      • chanela

        well i guess you could say the military in general. tons and tons of women are getting raped and the military does nothing about it, ESPECIALLY to the men who are doing it.