I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on November 25, 1992. I was all set to join the Air Force. A friend of mine who is also a Marine said, “It’s a good thing you’re joining the Air Force because you could never do what we do!” I said, “Oh yeah! Get me that recruiter’s phone number.” The rest as they say, is history.

During World War II, recruiters in New Orleans were trying to recruit women because the men were at war. They hired someone to make a statue of a female Marine and they called her Molly Marine. We have three statues today. The original in New Orleans, one in Parris Island and the other is in Quantico, Virginia, the Marine Corps Headquarters.

When females graduate boot camp, one of the awards they can receive is the Molly Marine Award. It is a great honor.

When I arrived at Parris Island, I couldn’t pass my physical fitness test. I was put into a physical conditioning platoon to work on my fitness. With me it wasn’t physical but more mental. I was grieving the loss of my mom. After two weeks I picked up with a regular platoon. My mom’s birthday is March 14. I went to speak to the chaplain twice while I was down there. The chaplain looked me in the eye and said, “Pat, if you make it through this, you can do anything”.

I did become a United States Marine and I still think of it as a great honor. My husband is also a Marine. He is always wearing a hat or shirt that says Marine. People are always coming up to him and saying Semper Fi and/or thank you for your service. When people see me in something that says Marine, nine times out of ten people will ask me if my husband is a Marine! This includes women!! I find it difficult to believe that in 2020 people still ask this. This is why I wrote the book Molly the Marine.

I wrote the book to let girls know that they can do anything they want. The book talks about just a few of the jobs available in the Marines. The book encourages girls to believe in themselves and work together. Together we can change the world!

The book is available at Amazon. Semper Fi


  • Pat White served her country for twenty years.  The first sixteen years were in the United States Marines and the last four were with the United States Air Force.  Pat was also a special education teacher with the School District of Philadelphia for twenty years.  She lives at home with her husband and son.  They love to travel the world together.