COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — For the first time in its 96-year history, a female general is taking charge at the famed Marine Corps training depot at South Carolina’s Parris Island.
Brig. Gen. Loretta Reynolds, who is also known as the first female Marine to ever hold a command position in a battle zone, takes charge Friday at the installation south of Beaufort.
Parris Island graduates about 20,000 Marines annually and is the only site where female enlisted Marines are trained to enter the service.
Reynolds is a native of Baltimore and a 1986 graduate of the Naval Academy. She has worn the Marine Corps uniform for 25 years.
She is taking over from Brig. Gen. Frederick Padilla, who is taking charge of the 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa, Japan.
In her new position, Reynolds also will be in charge of the Marines’ Eastern Recruiting Region, which covers the 23 states east of the Mississippi River.
As a one-star general, Reynolds becomes only the third female general officer in the more than 200,000-member Marine Corps. The service has two two-star female generals, one in the active duty ranks and another in the Marine Corps Reserve.
Overall, there are 12,339 enlisted females in the Marines, 108 warrant officers and 1,224 officers, according to Marine Corps figures. On its Parris Island website, the service said training for men and women is identical, and that roughly 2,400 female recruits go through it every year.
Reynolds trained as a communications officer and commanded Marines from platoon to battalion levels in her more than 20 years in uniform.
She has been posted in Okinawa, Japan; Quantico, Va., Iraq and Afghanistan, and was in command of the Marine Recruiting Station in Harrisburg, Pa.
She also worked with at the headquarters of the Marine Corps in its communications and computer division in Washington, D.C.
Reynolds’ last posting was in charge of the Headquarters Group for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
While serving a yearlong tour of duty in Afghanistan, she oversaw five Marine battalions and military company from Bahrain. While there, she took a base that had “fed, housed and equipped more than 10,000 Marines and expanded the base to handle an additional 10,000 Marines and sailors,” the website for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force said. The site added that the command slot position meant she was “recognized as the first female Marine to command battle space.”
Before her time at Camp Pendleton, Reynolds was a division chief with the Joint Staff at the Pentagon.
Reynolds also has attended the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Va., the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., and the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.
Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
- First female F15-E pilot was Lieutenant Jeannie Flynn in 1993
- Mission launched in honour of Women’s History Month
A squadron of American female Airman, called the Strike Eagles of ‘Dudette 07’, made history last week when they launched an air mission over Afghanistan.
The two F-15E jets roared off from Bagram on Wednesday, just west of the Pakistan border, and offered close air support for coalition and Afghan forces.
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You read that headline correctly. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration is financing oil exploration off Brazil.
The U.S. is going to lend billions of dollars to Brazil’s state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to finance exploration of the huge offshore discovery in Brazil’s Tupi oil field in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro. Brazil’s planning minister confirmed that White House National Security Adviser James Jones met this month with Brazilian officials to talk about the loan.
The U.S. Export-Import Bank tells us it has issued a “preliminary commitment” letter to Petrobras in the amount of $2 billion and has discussed with Brazil the possibility of increasing that amount. Ex-Im Bank says it has not decided whether the money will come in the form of a direct loan or loan guarantees. Either way, this corporate foreign aid may strike some readers as odd, given that the U.S. Treasury seems desperate for cash and Petrobras is one of the largest corporations in the Americas.
But look on the bright side. If President Obama has embraced offshore drilling in Brazil, why not in the old U.S.A.? The land of the sorta free and the home of the heavily indebted has enormous offshore oil deposits, and last year ahead of the November elections, with gasoline at $4 a gallon, Congress let a ban on offshore drilling expire.
The Bush Administration’s five-year plan (2007-2012) to open the outer continental shelf to oil exploration included new lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico. But in 2007 environmentalists went to court to block drilling in Alaska and in April a federal court ruled in their favor. In May, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said his department was unsure whether that ruling applied only to Alaska or all offshore drilling. So it asked an appeals court for clarification. Late last month the court said the earlier decision applied only to Alaska, opening the way for the sale of leases in the Gulf. Mr. Salazar now says the sales will go forward on August 19.
This is progress, however slow. But it still doesn’t allow the U.S. to explore in Alaska or along the East and West Coasts, which could be our equivalent of the Tupi oil fields, which are set to make Brazil a leading oil exporter. Americans are right to wonder why Mr. Obama is underwriting in Brazil what he won’t allow at home.
Update: Sarah Palin’s response.
Latest update: Obama gives them a permit to drill in the gulf:
WASHINGTON, March 18 (UPI) — Washington has given Petrobras America Inc. permission to start oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico, a regulator said.
“She warned that the U.S. would not accept two alternatives as potential ends to the current crisis: “democracy of six months or a year and then evolving essentially into a military dictatorship” or – a scarier specter for American policymakers –what she described on NBC’s “Meet The Press” as “faux democacy like the elections we saw in Iran…where you have one election 30 years ago and the people stay in power and become less and less responsive to their people.” [snip]
“We want to see free and fair elections and we expect that that will be one of the outcomes of what is going on in Egypt right now,” Clinton said.”
Those “free and fair elections” must be free of Muslim Brotherhood, Iran, Islamic extremist influence. The rights of women must be respected as well as the rights of religions such as Coptic Christianity. Egypt must not turn into a theocratic misogynistic state like Iran. That is the policy the American government must pursue.
“Clinton, on CBS’s “Face The Nation,” addressed the issue of an Islamic regime following Mubarak. “Well, first I’m not speculating about who goes or who stays. And I’m not prepared to comment on what kind of democratic process the Egyptian people can construct for themselves. But we obviously want to see people who are truly committed to democracy — not to imposing any ideology on Egyptians.”
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