International Women's Day spotlight: Female Marines

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Women in the US Marines
PARRIS ISLAND, SC - MARCH 08: United States Marine Corps recruit Maria Martinez, 19, of Santa Anna, California trains during boot camp March 8, 2007 at Parris, Island, South Carolina. The Department of Defense has asked Congress to increase the size of the Marine Corps by 27,000 troops and the Army by 65,000 over the next five years. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
PARRIS ISLAND, SC - JANUARY 15: United States Marine Corps female recruit Jessica Waseca crawls on her back under barbed wire January 15, 2003 during the test exercise called The Crucible at boot camp at Parris Island, SC. The Marines train an average of 3,700 male recruits and 600 females a day at Parris Island. The Crucible is a 54 hour final exam to test the skills the recruits have learned during basic training. (Photo by Stephen Morton/Getty Images)
PARRIS ISLAND, SC - MARCH 08: Female United States Marine Corps recruits receive instructions for a training exercise during boot camp March 8, 2007 at Parris Island, South Carolina. The Department of Defense has asked Congress to increase the size of the Marine Corps by 27,000 troops and the Army by 65,000 over the next five years. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CAMP LEJEUNE, NC - FEBRUARY 22: Pfc. Tiffany Mash of Torrance, California leads a company of Marines, both male and female, carrying 55 pound packs at the start of a 10 kilometer training march during Marine Combat Training (MCT) on February 22, 2013 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Since 1988 all non-infantry enlisted male Marines have been required to complete 29 days of basic combat skills training at MCT after graduating from boot camp. MCT has been required for all enlisted female Marines since 1997. About six percent of enlisted Marines are female. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CAMP LEJEUNE, NC - FEBRUARY 20: Male and female Marines climb an obstacle on the Endurance Course during Marine Combat Training (MCT) on February 20, 2013 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Since 1988 all non-infantry enlisted male Marines have been required to complete 29 days of basic combat skills training at MCT after graduating from boot camp. MCT has been required for all enlisted female Marines since 1997. About six percent of enlisted Marines are female. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CAMP LEJEUNE, NC - FEBRUARY 20: Male and female Marines participate together in a combat conditioning exercise during Marine Combat Training (MCT) on February 20, 2013 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Since 1988 all non-infantry enlisted male Marines have been required to complete 29 days of basic combat skills training at MCT after graduating boot camp. It has been required for enlisted female Marines since 1997. About six percent of enlisted Marines are female. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
PARRIS ISLAND, SC - FEBRUARY 25: Female Marine recruits prepare to fire on the rifle range during boot camp February 25, 2013 at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina. All female enlisted Marines and male Marines who were living east of the Mississippi River when they were recruited attend boot camp at Parris Island. About six percent of enlisted Marines are female. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CAMP LEJEUNE, NC - FEBRUARY 22: Pvt. Tatiana Maldonado of Dallas, Texas trains with male and female Marines as she learns patrolling techniques at Marine Combat Training (MCT) on February 22, 2013 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Since 1988 all non-infantry enlisted male Marines have been required to complete 29 days of basic combat skills training at MCT after graduating from boot camp. MCT has been required for all enlisted female Marines since 1997. About six percent of enlisted Marines are female. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
PARRIS ISLAND, SC - FEBRUARY 25: Female Marine recruits stand in formation during boot camp February 25, 2013 at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina. All female enlisted Marines and male Marines who were living east of the Mississippi River when they were recruited attend boot camp at Parris Island. About six percent of enlisted Marines are female. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CAMP LEJEUNE, NC - FEBRUARY 22: Pvt. Megan Randall of Huntersville, North Carolina cleans a machine gun during Marine Combat Training (MCT) on February 22, 2013 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Since 1988 all non-infantry enlisted male Marines have been required to complete 29 days of basic combat skills training at MCT after graduating from boot camp. MCT has been required for all enlisted female Marines since 1997. About six percent of enlisted Marines are female. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
PARRIS ISLAND, SC - FEBRUARY 25: Cpl. David Peck (C) from New Market, Tennessee instructs female Marines as they prepare to fire on the rifle range during boot camp February 25, 2013 at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina. All female enlisted Marines and male Marines who were living east of the Mississippi River when they were recruited attend boot camp at Parris Island. About six percent of enlisted Marines are female. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CAMP LEJEUNE, NC - FEBRUARY 20: Male and female Marines do abdominal crunches while running the Endurance Course during Marine Combat Training (MCT) on February 20, 2013 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Since 1988 all non-infantry enlisted male Marines have been required to complete 29 days of basic combat skills training at MCT after graduating from boot camp. MCT has been required for all enlisted female Marines since 1997. About six percent of enlisted Marines are female. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CAMP LEJEUNE, NC - FEBRUARY 22: Sgt. Jarrod Simmons tries to motivate his squad of Marines before they head out on a 10 kilometer training march carrying 55 pound packs during Marine Combat Training (MCT) on February 22, 2013 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Since 1988 all non-infantry enlisted male Marines have been required to complete 29 days of basic combat skills training at MCT after graduating from boot camp. MCT has been required for all enlisted female Marines since 1997. About six percent of enlisted Marines are female. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
PARRIS ISLAND, SC - FEBRUARY 25: Female and male Marine recruits listen to instructions as they prepare for a swimming test during boot camp February 25, 2013 at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina. Male and female recruits are expected to meet the same standards during their swim qualification test. All female enlisted Marines and male Marines who were living east of the Mississippi River when they were recruited attend boot camp at Parris Island. About six percent of enlisted Marines are female. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
A U.S. marine drinks the blood of a cobra during a jungle survival exercise with the Thai Navy as part of the "Cobra Gold 2013" joint military exercise, at a military base in Chon Buri province February 20, 2013. About 13,000 soldiers from seven countries, Thailand, U.S., Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia are participating in the 11-day military exercise. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (THAILAND - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY SOCIETY)
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In honor of International Women's Day, we wanted to shine the spotlight on some of the women who serve our country everyday: Female Marines.

The United States Marine Corps was founded in 1775 but women weren't eligible to enlist until 1918. Opha Mae Johnson would become the first official female Marine. At first, ladies were only able to hold clerical positions -- but in 1948 they became permanent fixtures thanks to the Women's Armed Services Integration Act. It wasn't until the Vietnam War in 1965 that the first woman was assigned to attache duty, and later became the first to serve under hostile attack.

As long as women have been a part of the Marine Corps, they have pushed boundaries to reach new heights and ranks within the military. These women fought tooth and nail to prove their worth and solidified themselves as a vital part of the Marines. They are now required to complete the same 29 day combat training as their male counterparts, which entails a final 54 hour exam called "The Crucible." Combat jobs require women to meet the same rigorous physical standards as men.

SEE ALSO: The amazing strong-women of the early 1900s

Currently women make up approximately 7.11 percent of Marines according to the Women Marines Association. They serve in 93 percent of all occupations and in 62 percent of all non-military Marine housing.

We applaud these women for their bravery, heart, perseverance and dedication to their country.

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