Female General Now in Command at Historic Marine Training Base
It’s not your father’s Marine Corps anymore. For the first time in its 96-year history, the famed Marine Corps Basic Training Base at Parris Island, South Carolina has a female General in charge.
Brig. Gen. Loretta Reynolds has taken command of a base famous around the world for its hard and rigorous training of Marine Corps recruits. Parris Island graduates about 20,000 new Marines annually, and it’s the only site that trains female Marines.
Parris Island has a proud tradition. It’s turned out Marines who fought in the trenches of World War I, stormed the beaches of Normandy and Pacific islands held by the Japanese in World War II. Many more fought in Vietnam, and are now fighting in the middle east.
General Reynolds is no powder-puff. She was the first female Marine to hold a command in a battle zone in Afghanistan. In her new job, Reynolds also will be in charge of the Marines’ Eastern Recruiting Region, which covers the 23 states east of the Mississippi River.
Reynolds is a 1986 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and she’s worn the Marine Corps uniform for 25 years. She replaces Brig. Gen. Frederick Padilla, who has been moved to the 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa, Japan.
Even though it wasn’t filmed on location at Parris Island, the Stanley Kubrick film Full Metal Jacket was hailed as a truthful portrayal of how Marines are trained there.
As a one-star Brigadier, Reynolds is only the third female general in the Marine Corps. There are two female generals with two stars, but only one is on active duty. The other is in the Marine Corps Reserve.