A historic milestone is scheduled Thursday for the military when the first company of women trained by the U.S. Marine Corps on the west coast will graduate.
The west coast’s first co-ed company of Marine recruits, the Marines of Lima Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, is set to graduate from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego after completing their 13-week training. The history-making class includes 53 women and 344 men.
Traditionally, female recruits had undergone boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina. The California co-ed company began training in February and the Marine Corps brought out six female drill instructors for the mixed class.
One Poway native told NBC 7 that she was ecstatic to be able to train in San Diego because she had hoped to follow in her father’s footsteps after he retired from the Marines.
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“It’s an awesome experience, especially for females,” Anne Frazier said. “I feel like it’s very empowering and a sign of change for me, personally, to be here. I think it’s an opportunity that I thought I’d never have.”
Last month, the site announced that due to the coronavirus pandemic, a limited number of people will be allowed at graduation ceremonies. Each new Marine will be able to invite two guests to attend their graduation.
Visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear a face mask during the ceremony.