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5 of the Most Badass Women in the Marine Corps

Marine Corps Captain Elizabeth A. Okoreeh-Baah  poses in front of an MV-22 Osprey, March 14, 2006. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Jonathan A. Tabb)
Marine Corps Captain Elizabeth A. Okoreeh-Baah poses in front of an MV-22 Osprey, March 14, 2006. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Jonathan A. Tabb)

Marines are known for being 100 percent badass, but these women take that distinction to a whole new level.

1. Capt. Elizabeth A. Okoreeh-Baah.

A 2000 graduate of the Naval Academy, Okoreeh-Baah was one of the first women to graduate with a Marine Corps aviation contract. She flew the CH-46E Sea Knight, completed a year-long combat deployment, and then transitioned to the MV-22 Osprey.

In 2006, she became the first woman to pilot the Osprey. Keep in mind, this is the aircraft that kept crashing and there were massive doubts about its performance. This badass pilot flew anyway. That takes guts, skill, tenacity and character -- which, as we all know, is the recipe for making a Marine.

2. Unnamed Female Marine Officer.

We don't know her name, but she completed one of the hardest courses in the Marine Corps, the Infantry Officer Course.

She is briefly shown in a video released by the Corps and, as the first female Marine infantry officer, she will lead a platoon of infantry Marines.

To illustrate how little people associate the Corps with female Marines, the site Jezebel originally posted the story with the headline "The Marine Corps is getting their first-ever woman officer."

They corrected the eye-roll inducing gaffe, but the Marine Corps more than any other service branch has voiced concerns about having women in combat.

That said, perhaps its reticence and insistence on standards means more acceptance for this unnamed trailblazer, because she met the challenge and succeeded.

We hope so, because the beauty of the Corps is that Marines are Marines first and foremost and they take care of their own.

A hearty "Oorah!" to this badass female Marine ... 0302, baby!

3. Pfc. Maria Daume.


OK, try and remember this isn't a movie script: A young woman born in a Siberian prison spends the first two years of her life behind bars. Then her mother dies, and she and her twin brother are adopted by an American couple. She goes on to become one of the first women to sign up for the Marine Corps with an infantry contract.

Profiled in Task & Purpose, Maria Daume's story is mind-boggling, inspiring and makes one want to shout " 'Merica!" Well done, Marine.

4. Capt. Katie Higgins.

Who doesn't love the Blue Angels? Well, except for that one guy who wants them out of San Francisco Fleet Week.

The Blues are one of the Navy's most visible recruiting and outreach tools. In 2016, Marine aviator Capt. Katie Higgins became the first female Blue Angels pilot when she took to the skies in "Fat Albert," the C-130 Hercules that takes part in the show.

Taking an agile fighter like the Hornet through intricate maneuvers is badass. But taking a hulking C-130 and making it look as agile as a Hornet is BAD. ASS.

Sadly, Higgins' tour as Fat Albert's pilot was cut short due to safety and maintenance issues with the plane. But while she was on the team, little girls who dreamed of punching holes in the sky were able to see her signing autographs right there alongside the male pilots.

5. Pfc. Amanda Issa.

Issa and her family escaped from Mosul as the threat of the Islamic State loomed nearby. She lived for a year as a refugee in a camp in Turkey; then, her family made their way to Michigan in 2011 when she was just a teenager.

Profiled by the Defense Department, Issa's story is a testament to personal fortitude.

Inspired by the bravery of U.S. Marines she saw when she was a child in Iraq, she did what any refugee from a war-ravaged home would do: graduated from high school at the top of her class and enlisted in the Marine Corps.

If that weren't enough, Issa suffered a near enlistment-ending injury in boot camp and defied the odds by making it back and finishing her training.

She earned her Eagle, Globe and Anchor in September 2016. Can I get an "Oorah!" for this badass Marine?

Related Topics

Marine Corps Women in the Military Women's History Month