The Oceanside Chamber held a reception Monday, August 13, 2018 to unveil its newest publication: Celebrating 75 Years, Women Marines on Camp Pendleton. The release of the magazine came exactly 75 years ago when the first woman Marine arrived at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
The reception was attended by Col. Philip G. Antekeier, Col. Jeffrey Holt and Oceanside Mayor Peter Weiss. Women Marines, both retired and active duty, who were featured in the magazine, were also in attendance, along with dozens of others, including Sgt. Maj. Grace A. Carle (Ret). She was the last to serve as Sergeant Major of Women Marines from 1974-1976. At the age of 95, she proudly stood to be acknowledged with the other Women Marines.
The Camp Pendleton Historical Society, local Chapters of the Women Marines Association, and the Camp Pendleton History Museum provided historical content and photos, which includes a timeline of Women in the Marines Corps (100 years). Women Marines also provided their own photos and stories of their careers and memories of Camp Pendleton.
Magazine distribution has begun and will soon be available at businesses throughout Oceanside as well as various locations on Camp Pendleton. Copies are also available at the Oceanside Chamber office.
Read More about Sgt. Major Carle below.
Sergeant Major Grace A. Carle
Sergeant Major Grace A. Carle became the sixth and last Sergeant Major of Women Marines in ceremonies held at Marine Barracks, Washington, D .C., on 30 April 1974. Born in Yankton, South Dakota, she graduated from Pender High School, Pender, Nebraska, in 1940. She enlisted in the Marine Corps in April 1943 and was a member of the last regiment trained at Hunter College, New York. During World War II, she saw service at Headquarters Marine Corps and in Hawaii. She was released from active duty in November 1945. The all-woman Volunteer Training Unit which she joined in 1948 became the nucleus of the Women's Reserve (WR) Platoon, 13th Infantry Battalion and was mobilized in 1950 at the beginning of the Korean War. Before leaving for San Francisco, she, along with others in the platoon, was ordered to the home armory for two weeks active duty during which the women helped the men to pack and to get their paperwork in order. Initially, she served in San Francisco as a Reservist and then integrated into the Regular Marine Corps in 1951.
Other duty assignments took her to El Toro, Parris Island, Camp Pendleton, and to New Orleans, as assistant to the woman officer selection officer. She served as first sergeant of the Woman Marine Companies at Camp Lejeune and on Okinawa. At the time of her selection as Sergeant Major of Women Marines, she was Sergeant Major, Woman Officer School, Quantico.
At the end of her tour as Sergeant Major of Women Marines, a woman Marine mess night was held at the Sheraton Hotel on 29 October 1976, an occasion attended by women Marine officers and enlisted, from all East Coast posts. The next day, upon retirement, she was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal and honored at parade at the Marine Barracks, 8th and I Streets, Washington, D.C.