With a list of other general officer announcements, Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced the president’s nomination. If democrats don’t block this historic move, Marine Corps Col. Lorna Mahlock would be the first black woman to serve to hold this prominent position in the U.S. military.
According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Defense, she is currently the deputy director of operations, plans, policies, and operations directorate at the Marine Corps’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Different reports pointed out that women make up just 8 percent of the Marine Corps, one of the main reasons why many consider this decision a historic step and a major move from President Trump.
As noted in her LinkedIn profile, Mahlock previously worked in Okinawa, Japan, as the Commanding Officer of Marine Air Control Group 18 (MACG18).
While she was in that city, she successfully supervised over 1,300 troops and civilian workers and $250 million in equipment.
Mahlock also leads, maintains, and operates a unit with almost 500 marines and $60 million in commercial network and satellite equipment in over 15 sovereign nations across the world.
Four years ago, Mahlock oversaw the Marine Corp’s manpower legislative portfolio and was a liaison for the House, Senate, and Office of the Secretary of Defense.
This woman is a Marquette University alumna and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism.
Apparently, she earned a masters in adult and higher education from the University of Oklahoma. In addition, Mahlock holds masters degrees from the U.S. Army War College and the Naval War College.
Different reports state that Mahlock also has experience working with lawmakers and private industry professionals.
Before her outstanding job in Japan, she worked with lawmakers as the Chief Information Officer of G6, engaging the members in support of Key Department of Defense legislation in the 2014 National Defense Authorization Bill.
Additionally, she coordinated with some industry leaders like Simon Sinek and Sheryl Sandberg on human capital and talent management strategies.
For three years, between 2010 and 2013, she served in the European Command in Germany, coordinating the different activities of various arms of the military and Special Operations activities across more than 45 nations, including Israel and Turkey.
On mainstream news and social media, many people are praising the president for this decision. They point out that this development is a clear sign of progress in the smallest branch of the military.
After all, in addition to the fact that only eight percent of Marines are female –representing the smallest number of all four branches of the military- black people comprise no more than 6 percent of the Marine Corps.
Last year, an unidentified officer became the first female infantry officer, a military occupation specialty, also called MOS. These positions weren’t open to women until the year 2016.
According to different reports, the United States Marine Corps decided to launch a marketing campaign back in 2012 in an effort to diversify its ranks.
Apparently, they were receiving a lot of criticism because of the lack of diversity in the troops. Given this situation, they thought it was extremely important to solve that issue as fast as possible.
The strategy they used was to run TV ads during college and professional football games, place ads in sports magazines, and upload a series of online videos.
Back then, the New York Times reported that some senior officers explained that these videos would probably resonate with young people in general, but women and blacks in particular.
While the same groups that wanted the Marine Corps to diversify its troops claimed during the first weeks of the videos that this strategy was racist, they stopped their protests in less time than expected, likely due to the fact that they didn’t receive too much notoriety.
Naturally, while the president’s decision will probably get criticized or downplayed by the democrats who have consistently called him racist, the truth is that these kinds of acts not only contradict those claims but also show his clear ability to choose the best person for the job despite race or gender.