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Female Colonel Becomes the First Black Woman General in History of the US Marine Corps

The U.S. Marine Corps has seen some historic milestones for female Marines. Among these, one former Colonel Lorna M Mahlock reached the crowning achievement of becoming the first black female brigadier general to serve in the Marines.

Mahlock received a Master’s degree in Adult and Higher Education at the University of Oklahoma Norman campus; she also received a Master’s in National Security and Strategic Studies, with distinction, at the Naval War College in New Port, Rhode Island; she received an additional Master’s in Strategic Studies at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Mahlock has served overseas, in Germany and Japan, and has held a range of important jobs. She served as an air traffic control officer and held several command positions globally. She also served as a Marine Aviation Weapon and Tactics Instructor and was also the director of the Marine Corps Instructional Management School.

It’s now been over four years since all combat jobs in the U.S. military became open to women, and headway is already being made. Last year also saw the first female Marines’ entrance into an infantry battalion at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. They were designated to serve in the 1st Battalion of the 8th Marine Regiment.

Counted among these fighting women were specializations in rifleman, machine gun, and mortar, according to a Marine spokesman.

Last year, women made up just 8 percent of those serving in the Marines, who have a poor track record of attracting both women as well as African Americans into its ranks. That makes Brigadier General Mahlock one of their crowning achievements.

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