I was a female Marine in the 70s

Back then we were called Women Marines, WMs or BAMs. We told ourselves that BAM stood for Beautiful American Marine, but we knew better. I was assigned a 0102 MOS [that’s military occupational specialty] as a Personnel Officer.

When I arrived at my first duty station in the Mohave Desert, I was introduced around the headquarters building, where I would be working. A crusty Lieutenant Colonel called me aside and handed me a business card. It said, “I’ve had a vasectomy.” I had just been through a few months of hell where us Second Lieutenants were put in fear of senior officers and taught to do as we were commanded. Thankfully, I had the strength to say “thank you,” and walk on.  Then I went back to my quarters and cried.

After a few weeks, I received a phone call at work from the President of the Officers’ Wives Association. She said that several people saw me eating lunch with one of the Marine Officers (who happened to be my boss) in the Officers’ Club. She suggested that I should refrain from doing that in the future. She didn’t say why. She didn’t have to. (more…)

November 10 is the 239th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.

So what, you ask?

First of all, just think about that. Two hundred and thirty nine years of excellence and stellar results. Talk about sustainability!

I doubt that there is an individual who doesn’t think “Wow” when they hear or see a U.S. Marine. The Corps’ reputation of being our elite fighting force is enough to strike fear into our enemies and trust into our citizens. How can an organization sustain that kind of excellence for 239 years?

Listen to the newly promoted Commandant of the Marine Corps, in his birthday address to his Marines – you’ll hear a bit about what makes a Marine a Marine.

Here’s my “so what.” We, the business community, can take lessons from the Marine Corps. This isn’t a new concept; over the past 15 years several authors have followed Marines to try to understand their success, and published their findings. And it’s great information. (more…)


separated_from_group_400_clr_9554I was an overweight, shy, only-child who moved every other year. I attended 11 schools from K through 12; tough to build friendships.  In college, I made a very deliberate decision to change who I was, I lost weight, found a sorority with like-minded sisters, and learned social skills I’d not learned before. I then was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U. S. Marine Corps, and left that sad child behind. I don’t get intimidated often, but when I do, it is usually the “mean girls” from high school that flip my trigger.

What do I mean by “mean girls?” Well, hopefully the Rachel McAdams stereotype has grown up to be less overt, and more caring. Honestly, if she didn’t I think she will struggle in today’s workforce. (more…)