Wednesday February 21, 2018
Home U.S.A. Maria Daume :...

Maria Daume : a Female Marine Trailblazer Graduates From Infantry School

Maria Daume is the first female Marine to join the infantry through the traditional entry-level training process; just like a superhero comic

1
//
3416
Maria Daume
Maria Daume watches her mother, Maureen Daume, become emotional after Maria's graduation from the Marine Corps School of Infantry, March 23, 2017, in Camp Lejeune, N.C. (VOA)
Republish
Reprint

North Carolina, March 25: Marine Pfc. Maria Daume’s life story reads as if she came straight from the pages of a superhero comic.

Born in a Siberian prison. Orphaned at age 2. Adopted by Americans at age 4 and raised in New York.

And now, she’s just done what many naysayers believed a woman would never do: She’s the first female Marine to join the infantry through the traditional entry-level training process, a process made available to women just a half-year earlier.

“I like to prove people wrong,” Daume told VOA in her first interview since completing her training at the Marine Corps School of Infantry at Camp Lejuene, North Carolina. “No matter what your belief is, you can’t argue that I didn’t do it, because I did.”

Marine Pfc. Maria Daume’s life story reads as if she came straight from the pages of a superhero comic.

Born in a Siberian prison. Orphaned at age 2. Adopted by Americans at age 4 and raised in New York.

And now, she’s just done what many naysayers believed a woman would never do: She’s the first female Marine to join the infantry through the traditional entry-level training process, a process made available to women just a half-year earlier.

“I like to prove people wrong,” Daume told VOA in her first interview since completing her training at the Marine Corps School of Infantry at Camp Lejuene, North Carolina. “No matter what your belief is, you can’t argue that I didn’t do it, because I did.”

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.

Top of the pack

Not only did she graduate from the School of Infantry on Thursday, she completed what Infantry Marines argue is one of the most difficult military operational specialties the school has to offer, at a time when instructors say the standards have become “even harder.”

As a Mortar Marine, she and her peers represent the most rapid response to indirect fire for an infantry unit.

And to pass the training required to become one, she and her peers scaled a 142-cm-high (56 inches) wall in full gear within 30 seconds, lifted a 36-kg (about 80 pounds) MK19 heavy machine gun above their heads, evacuated a 97-kg (214 pounds) casualty within 54 seconds while wearing a fighting load, and passed various knowledge skill tests and gun drills.

She also had to hike 20 km (over 12 miles) while carrying a 60 mm mortar system with four simulated rounds.That cold night was the moment she knew that she had made the cut to be a Mortar Marine.

“I went to sleep that night and I’m lying in my rack, and I’m just like, ‘I did the 20k,’ ” she said, smiling. “It felt good.”

Daume didn’t just pass the training. She often crushed it, according to one of her trainers.

“She was right at the top of the pack,” Marine Sergeant Matthew Schneider, a mortar instructor at the school, told VOA.

Tears of joy welled up in Daume’s mother’s eyes as people gathered around to congratulate her on graduating from the School of Infantry. A retired Marine walked up to Daume Thursday and asked if he could just shake her hand.

“You know, you’re part of history, you know that, right? And that’s amazing,” he told her.

Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.

History made, hardship ahead

However, not everyone is as positive about military females and their abilities. Daume’s major milestone for the Marine Corps comes amid a massive photo scandal inside the service branch. A private Facebook group called “Marines United,” which included tens of thousands of Marines and retired Marines, posted links to explicit images of military women, often with sexist, derogatory comments. Some even referenced rape and molestation.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service has launched an investigation, which has reportedly spread to other military branches.

Marine Corps Commandant Robert Neller told lawmakers last week that he was disgusted, shocked and angry when he heard about the scandal. He said some members appeared to “have forgotten that every member of our team is an equal and valued member of our Corps.”

“How much more do the females of the Corps have to do to be accepted?” Neller said. “We all have to get rid of this perversion to our culture. Enough is enough.”

NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.

‘Just Daume’

Daume, who was in training when the scandal broke, said she trusts the Marine Corps to handle the scandal appropriately, and will continue to do her thing no matter how other people may put women down.

“It kind of just gives me more motivation to show them that we can do it,” she told VOA.

She hopes that her trailblazing will convince more women that they could be tough enough to join the Marine infantry, too, adding that her experience with her company at Camp Lejeune was one of unity and trust.

“Throughout training they realized that I was just one of them. It wasn’t Daume, the female. It was just Daume,” she said.

Katherine Kidder, a fellow in the Military, Veterans and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security, said she sees Daume’s graduation as “the beginning of a wave of women” coming into the Corps, despite the cultural issues that she said have plagued the branch for some time.

“This [women entering the infantry] may be the way to bridge the gap,” Kidder said.

Assigned to Camp Pendleton

The Marines now have four women in the infantry. Three female Marines joined 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment at Camp Lejeune in January after making a lateral move request to join the infantry.

Daume left with four of her fellow graduates on Thursday for 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment in Camp Pendleton, near San Diego, California. (VOA)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 NewsGram

  • Darren

    OuuRahhh. Sounds like a hard corps infantry mortorperson. Will be watching this devil dog achieve as she seems unstoppable. Congratulations on her accomplishments. GET SOME!

Next Story

Maria Daume: Born in Russian Prison, First Female US Marine to Join School of Infantry

The Marine Corps established Infantry Training Regiments at Camp Lejeune and Camp Pendleton in the year 1953

0
//
132
  • Born in Siberian prison, Maria Daume becomes the first female Marine to join the infantry
  • Maria Daume redefines what a woman can never do
  • Graduated from boot camp, Maria is set to overcome all hurdles

US, July 10, 2017: Mocked and bullied at school for being an orphan and born in a Siberian prison, Maria Daume, is the first female Marine to join the infantry. From boot camp to graduation, Maria Daume redefines what a woman can never do.

“I like to prove people wrong,” Daume told in her first interview. She remained unyielding to the difficult military operational specialties with persistence. “You know, you’re part of history, you know that right?” a retired Marine, eager to shake her hands told her.

Maria Daume. VOA.

The training which was held in Parris Islands demands a strict Warrior training. They are taught marksmanship skills, they complete a combat fitness test before facing the crucible a final 54-hour field event that tests the recruits on strength, knowledge, and indomitability. “I like to prove people wrong,” Daume states, disregarding time worn parameters set on a woman as a result of deep-seated patriarchy.

[bctt tweet=” “I like to prove people wrong,” says Maria Daume” username=”NewsGramdotcom”]

However, her success comes amidst sexist slurs and disgraceful remarks. According to VOA report, a private Facebook group called Marines United comprised of thousands of Marines and retired Marines posted links to explicit images of military women with derogatory remarks.

Following this, The Naval Criminal Investigative Service has launched an investigation, which has reportedly spread to other military branches. “The Naval Criminal Investigative Service has launched an investigation, which has reportedly spread to other military branches.” Marine Corps Commandant Robert Neller questioned with repugnance and disgust. He demanded purgation of “perversion” from the culture.

ALSO READ: Domestic social shopping platform LimeRoad ties up with Madhya Pradesh Government to Digitise Handloom Sector

The Marine Corps established Infantry Training Regiments at Camp Lejeune and Camp Pendleton in the year 1953. The training is a combination of classroom instruction, hands-on practical application, and live-fire evolutions. Maria in an interview states “just because you are a female doesn’t mean you can’t do what a man can do”. 

On her graduating ceremony from the School of Infantry, tears of joy glistened in Daume’s mother’s eyes, who adopted Maria with her sibling Nikolai. Certainly, Daume has added a new line in the history of women and their achievements, their contributions which are celebrated during March in the US.

– by Puja Sinha. Twitter: pujas1994