All Articles Tagged "Marines"
A Facebook page that degraded female troops in the Marine Corps was removed yesterday after California House Representative Jackie Speire complained to the Pentagon. Speire sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and also addressed Marine Corps Commandant General James Amos.
Speire has recently put pressure on the pentagon to take more action with sexual harassment cases and wrote in her letter, “I am confident that if you reviewed the contents of this webpage that you would be horrified by the culture of misogyny and sexual harassment depicted on the web site.” She also wrote that the Marine Corps inspector general has been aware of the site and monitoring it for over three years.
A statement was released on behalf of the Marine Corps by Captain Eric Flanagan showing that the Marine Corps appears to be taking the Facebook issue seriously stating, “Marines are responsible for all content they publish on social networking sites, blogs, or other websites. There is no tolerance for discriminatory comments. It goes against good order and discipline.”
No one knows who created the page or has been managing it to date, and even as the existence of the page was being threatened, inflammatory comments were being posted about Representative Speire, calling her vulgar names and threatening her for causing the page to be shut down.
This week the military has been getting lots of attention due to a report released by the Pentagon estimating that 26,000 troops had been sexually abused in 2012, up by 35 percent since the last survey was conducted in 2010. The removal of this Facebook page seems to be one step in the right direction, but there is certainly more to do.
Tanzania Alexander is a former Marine recruiter who currently works as an Aviator Supply Specialist. During her time as a recruiter, Tanzania mentored high school students and kids in the foster care system. She is the mom of a 9-year-old, and will graduate in June from Ashford University with a degree in Business Management. This is her story.
Why did you join the Marine Corps?
I joined the Marine Corps because I wanted to travel and see the world. I also wanted to do something different, get an education, and have the opportunity to serve my country.
What did you enjoy most about being a recruiter?
In my time as a recruiter, I enjoyed talking to the youth about military service. Recruiters have to put the word out about what the military has to offer, often dispelling misinformation along the way. I regularly visited high schools, and spoke to parents as well about the Marine Corps.
What leadership skills have you gained?
I have to say that one of the greatest leadership skills I gained is the skill of listening. By this, I mean listening to the needs of people. People join the military for different reasons, be it financial, going to college, or career-based pursuits. Everyone has needs, and a leader has to figure out how to fulfill those needs. Being a successful recruiter involves being attentive to the concerns of each individual, not just listening to respond.
is it important to you to mentor men and women in foster care?
I have always wanted to be a mentor. I see the need to expose the youth to a broader existence. There are so many young men and women out there who are not in the greatest environments. I reached out to them, taking them on museum trips, among other things. People have to see that there is more to their world than their immediate surroundings. Youth in a foster care predicament often are unaware of the other choices out there that they can make to have a different path in life.
How do you balance motherhood and Marine life?
I could not do it without the support of my family and friends. The time away from home required other people to step in and help. Marine life is demanding, and it requires a great deal of commitment. I have included my child in Marine life, and have done so for years.
What is the best thing about being a Marine?
The best thing about being a Marine is knowing that I am making a difference. By supporting the larger mission of the American armed forces, I am making a difference for the country. Not everybody can say that.
What advice do you have for Black women who are considering joining the Marines?
Do a lot of research, and ask a lot of questions. Make sure that you would be a good fit for the Marine Corps, and that the Marine Corps will be a good fit for you. Plan for the end, come in with a set goal, and set yourself up for success.
Click here to meet all of our salutes.
LaKeya Benton is a fitness instructor, softball coach, and volunteer who served in the Marine Corps for 4 years. This is her story.
How did you determine the service was the best place to for you to build your career?
The determination was not on which branch would best serve my career; I would say it was more on which branch I felt would teach me how to do what I needed to do to in order to survive in a combative, hostile, foreign unprepared situation.
What other skills have you developed since joining the Marines?
I have a strong sense of pride. The Marine Corps has a way of instilling its core values. Our motto is Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful). Our core values are honor, courage, and commitment. I know that is not really a skill; however pride affects everything I do. Meaning it makes me work hard, it shows that I care about what I’m doing or trying to accomplish, and that I try to complete tasks with all that I have in me.
There’s also multitasking . In the United States Marine Corps (USMC) there are many objectives of the day that must must be completed. I don’t know how much one could accomplish within 24 hrs! Understanding how to talk to someone or a group is a skill I learned while in the USMC also. When I’m excited about something I talk very loud and I have to catch myself. I think it’s a skill to give clear information while still making sure the recipient is comfortable and receptive.
is community service/volunteering at the Y and with a daycare center so important to you personally and professionally as a Marine?
While in the USMC, my job and my duty as a Marine was to protect and serve the United States of America, i.e. the community in a sense. I guess it’s my way of continuing that service. Volunteering is a good way of saying, “I’m here to help; and no you do not have to pay me!” I think that shows character, honor, courage, and commitment.
Kids are the future –“teach well and let them lead the way”– as Whitney Houston would say. I believe we need to instill good values in children while they are young; not just as parents or grandparents, but as caregivers, teachers, childcare workers etc., and we all need to be in one accord, meaning not everyone will let anyone discipline their child but we can all encourage them.
Do you bring basic training influences into your fitness classes?
Yes, sometimes when I count out loud, I’m told I sound like a Drill Instructor. Sometimes I get down and dirty with some exercises and I push them boot camp style. If they are doing push-ups and their arms are shaking, I get down next to them and calmly exclaim they can do it!
Christina Silva is a Marine Corp veteran and entrepreneur. In addition to her accomplishments in the military, Christina is a real estate broker and consultant. Madame Noire had the opportunity to speak with her about her pursuits in business as well as her service in the community. This is her story.
Why did you join the Marine Corp?
After a year of college, I wanted to sign up. The things that Marines do really fit in with my personality type. It’s a daring adventurist kind of career, and it just meshes with who I am.
Did you always know you wanted to be in the service?
I knew that I would become a leader, and I became a leader by fate. The Marines gave me that opportunity to do so. It’s the right position.
What leadership skills have you developed as a result of your service?
I am extremely organized and detail oriented. I have the ability to adapt and overcome. The Marine Corp teaches you to multi-task and I have applied that to my pursuits outside of the military. I have a trained, sharpened ability and I was made to think outside of the box.
How were you able to blend multimedia production, motivational speaking, and real estate into one career?
Through multi-tasking I turned myself into a resource center. I became a consultant and used the information I have gathered to promote my expertise on the radio and elsewhere.
Why is community service so important to you?
Once a veteran leaves they have a sense of responsibility to give back. Community creates great relationships. You give not to get, but to build community in general. It is called relationship brokering, and it is a big part of what it means to be involved in community partnership.
Why should more Black women consider joining the service?
We are already against the grain. That means that you can overcome, and as a result you have a high feeling of esteem. When you say you are a Marine, as a woman you get that respect.
What’s the best thing about being a Marine?
The best thing about it is that it means commitment to anything you are intent on doing. You have to get it done, and that is just the attitude going in.
For more on Christina Silva, watch her video here.
Click here to meet all of our salutes.
In honor of Black History Month, MadameNoire is sending a daily salute to the African American women who inspire us every day of the year. From the big screen to the forefront of the service lines, these are their stores of courage and integrity. Today we are saluting Christina Silva, United States Marine Corps Veteran, federal contractor specializing in multimedia production, and motivational speaker. Watch her story here.
CLICK HERE TO MEET ALL OF OUR SALUTES.
Robbin King is the mother of 26-year-old First Lieutenant Drexel Rashawn King, a Raleigh, NC, native and Marine who is currently based at Camp Pendleton as an Infantry Officer. Mrs. King, who has been an administrative assistant at Ravenscroft School for 10 years – and followed both of her children there – talked to Madame Noire about what it’s like being the mother of a marine, the values her son has learned through his service to the United States of America, and her advice for other parents of children who are in the service or considering joining.
What is it like being the mother of a marine?
In my case, I’ve learned to adapt and I know what to expect because when [marines] sign on, they sign on to serve our country. So with that concept in mind, it’s not a lot for me to really think about. I have to do a lot of praying because once you sign on, you’re completely committed to the cause and I understand that.
How did you instill the importance of education in your son?
Education is a very valuable tool that allows you to do a lot of things. I had to put myself through college and pay for it myself so doing anything else was unacceptable. Education was [Rashawn’s] only focus and we ingrained in him that if he went to school and got a good education, everything else would fall into place. That was his mission.
Whenever my son comes back home, one of his main objectives is to come back and talk with the children [at his former grade school] and his main topic is education. He goes around and speaks to several classrooms and his number one priority is to tell kids to get a good education and respect their parents. When kids look at Rashawn and see what he’s done with his life it encourages them and they actually start making better grades so it serves a great purpose.
When did you first recognize leadership qualities in your son?
From the day he was born. It may sound funny, but it’s the truth. When he was born he was the only little boy in the hospital who had neck control and who was looking all around and all the nurses talked about that every day. I knew then that he was going to be an alright child.
How has being a Marine strengthened these qualities?
I, personally, would encourage anyone to send their child to the marines because it’s a great foundation. They teach you fundamentals you need to know in order to survive. It’s basic survival; and they reiterated what me and my husband had been teaching my son all along. You have to train a child and you have to be there for that child and you have to be there to go through it with your child. Your child has to know that you are there with them.
What are you most proud of when it comes to Rashawn?
I am proud that my son has two beautiful sons of his own that he is raising and will watch turn into young men.
What will Rashawn teach your grandsons about education?
This is one of those things that’s not debatable. [One of his sons is] already being tutored by his wife and I pick up curriculum for him and he’s only 2. But, you train up a child in the way you would want them to go and teach them those values that would stay with them all their life. So, education is going to be extremely important for his son, and as a grandmother, I’m going to do as much as I can to help out however they need it.
What advice do you have for other Marine parents?
First of all, you have to know you want to be a marine. And once you know you want to be a marine, you have to be disciplined. As a parent, if I know that’s what my child wants, then I am going to support my child unconditionally and I am going to have to prepare myself for war. No matter where he is, I have to be there for him.
Click here to meet all of our salutes.
In one of his last moves as Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta is planning to announce today a lift to the ban on women in combat roles. According to The Washington Post, the Army and Marines “will present plans to open most jobs to women by May 15.” Right now, the Army, which has the largest number of people in combat positions, excludes women from 25 percent of roles.
“The decision comes after a decade of counterinsurgency missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, where women demonstrated heroism on battlefields with no front lines,” the newspaper writes. Nevertheless, there are those opponents who say that male-female attraction would be an unwelcome side effect of greater female inclusion. There are also concerns about a woman’s ability to keep up with the physical nature of the job. I tend to agree with retired Col. Jack Jacobs who spoke with TODAY show’s Matt Lauer this morning:
When people are trying ardently to kill you, it really doesn’t matter to you who is on to the left and on your right as long as they’re doing their job. We fight to accomplish the mission. We fight for the country, but most of all, we fight for each other.”
Women have slowly been assuming greater roles in the military in the 25 years or so that they’ve been allowed to enlist. Women comprise about 14 percent of total active-duty military, according to Defense Department numbers reported by The Post, and 152 female members have died in Afghanistan and Iraq. About 238,000 positions will now be open to women.
According to another Washington Post article, a study of 30,000 active-duty military members found that African-American women were the most satisfied with their jobs of any other demographic. African-American men were the second most content. Hispanic women and men, in that order, were the next two. The least satisfied were white men.
“For women, pay and job benefits are more equal in the military than in the civilian labor,” Jennifer Hickes Lundquist, the University of Massachusetts researcher who worked on the study tells the newspaper.
“A more fair playing field, at least at lower military ranks, would be a boost for minorities and women. It would also be a potential drawback for white males,” the article continues. Some have said that, with this barrier broken, issues of gender discrimination and assault will be diminished.
Military women across the board will be pleased with the move, although it’s unclear how many women will jump at the chance and it will be at least a couple of years before women actually occupy the new available positions.
Because black women are so satisfied with their military service, it stands to reason that they will be enthusiastic about the chance to advance their careers. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who lost her legs serving as a combat pilot in Iraq, told NBC Nightly News, “It’s hard to make it to a general without a combat arms command at the brigade or the battalion level. And this will now allow women to have some of that command time.”
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.
There’s just some folks you don’t talk ill about, and the men and women of the armed forces are in that group.
Soulja Boy is learning this lesson the hard way, as he’s attracted a lot of anger and spite for saying “F**k all the army troops” in a video of him posted on YouTube. The 21-year-old was performing a new track called “Let’s Be Real.” In the video, he goes on to question why troops are fighting, and says they should be their “own” man. Questions were floating around as to whether or not it was actually Soulja Boy on the video, but unless you’ve never seen him before, the guy rapping looks and sounds EXACTLY like Soulja Boy.
According to TMZ, retired Marine and current LA County Veteran’s Advisory Commissioner Fred A. Flores (who currently has children in the armed forces) called Soulja Boy “ungrateful,” and said an apology to the men and women fighting for him is definitely in order:
“It’s a very offensive statement… especially with the 10th anniversary of 9/11 coming up. He should apologize to ALL armed forces.”
To see the video, filled with a bunch of N-word dropping, the statement in question, and some questionable rapping skills altogether, click here.
(NYTimes.com) — More than two months after the earthquake that devastated Haiti, at least 30 survivors who were waved onto planes by Marines in the chaotic aftermath are prisoners of the United States immigration system, locked up since their arrival in detention centers in Florida.