Service to our nation in the armed forces is an experience that unites us all. Most of us in the military would agree that, other than good-natured inter- or intra-service rivalries, anything that divides us from within is anathema to the unity and teamwork expected of our profession. Nowhere is this truer than for the Marine Corps, where we train, deploy, and fight as an air-ground-logistics team, and where every Marine is proudly a rifleman.
For those of us lucky enough to serve as Marines, on entering the Corps we become part of something greater than ourselves; all personal identity is shed at the door. Those who pass through the rigors of initial indoctrination are bestowed with the eagle, globe, and anchor, and the title “Marine.” We are no longer individuals identified primarily by gender, race, religion, or any other category. While we may still see ourselves as New Yorkers, Baptists, Cajuns, or anything in between, we become Marines first and foremost.