It was a historic day for US history when Barack Hussein Obama became the first black president of the United States. Donald Trump continued this custom by giving the armband to a black lady named Lorna M. Mahlock as brigadier general of US Marine Corps. The news was broadcasted to media by James Mattis – the Secretary of Defense.
This promotion is also significant due to the fact that all senior level promotions in US armed forces are done by the President and are then confirmed by the Senate. And such senior-level promotions mostly do not occur at individual levels.
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President Trump announcing the first African-American woman for the promotion to general.
Previously, Marine Corps Col. Lorna M. Mahlock was performing her duties as a deputy director of operations in Washington, D.C (as described in the Press Release of US Defense Department). A press release was published by the Community Services of US Marine Corps, in which it was described that Marine force has the lowest number of females.
Mahlok’s nomination was first reported by ABC News and then later on confirmed by US Department of Defense. However, Mahlok made no public statement after her nomination but in 2016 she discussed her expertise as Marine Corp while giving the interview on the occasion of Women’s History Month.
In that video interview, Mahlok said that she’s happy with how women’s roles have evolved over time and that she is hopeful for the future.
Mahlok has also served in Japan and Germany as her Linkedin profile says and she has vast experience in the operations and planning. There are two main reasons for promoting a black lady as a brigadier general – First and obvious is the vast experience of Mahlock and second is the fact that U.S. marine has a very poor record in attracting African-American women.
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Besides the posting of Mahlock, last year a female infantry officer was appointed in Marine Corps. Also, Pentagon made all combat jobs available to females three years ago. All these things pointing out the fact that the US is making females a crucial part of its Marine Crops.
Historically, women played an important role in wars for the US. Anna Mae Hays – the first military general of U.S. Armed Forces died in January 2018. She served the U.S. Armed Forces for many years and participated in three wars namely in India, Korea, and Vietnam.
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The combat role in the military for women has become one of the hot topics nowadays. The Marines is the most hesitant branch of the armed forces to employ females. However, the promotion of Lorna M. Mahlock will pave the way for other women in the field of Marines.
Women Stats in US Marine Corps:
Marine unit is the smallest unit among the 4 military units of armed forces of USA. The US Marine Corps has only 8% of females but Gen. Glenn Walters is hopeful that after the appointment of Lorna M. Mahlock, this percentage will increase. According to Marine Corps Unity Services, only 100 women are working in marine combat field jobs.
History of Black Officers in US Marine Corps:
There isn’t much to talk about when it comes to the history of Black Officers in U.S. Marine Corps. The first black officer ranked person was Frank E. Petersen Jr who was promoted brigade general after he completed his training after appointed as the second lieutenant in October 1952.
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Frank E. Petersen Jr served the US Marine Corps in Korean World War and in Vietnam as well. He retired in 1988 as a lieutenant general from US Marine and died on August 25, 2015.
Future of Women in US Marine Corps:
Appointment of Mahlok in U.S. Marine Corps will definitely prove to be a turning for the future of women in the field of armed forces. But still, there is plenty of work to do for promoting women in this field.