Opha M. Johnson

Opha M. Johnson

ON THIS DATE in 1918, eighteen-year-old Opha M. Johnson became the first woman to officially enlist as a U.S. Marine. This occurred one year after twenty-year-old Loretta Perfectus Walsh enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve, becoming the first female non-nurse in the armed services

More than 300 more women would join the Marines during World War I, most serving as stenographers, bookkeepers, accountants, and typists in Washington-area offices.

During World War II, approximately 1,000 officers and 18,000 enlisted women served with the Marines. By 2004, more than 10,000 Marines, about six percent of the total, were women.

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