A message from first woman commander at Parris Island

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By Tess Malijenovsky
“I want you to be standing where I’m standing,” said Gen. Lori Reynolds, the first woman commander at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.  “Our nation needs people like you to be standing here.”

Gen. Lori Reynolds

Gen. Reynolds delivered a speech to 500 JRTOC cadets from Beaufort County School District last week at Battery Creek High School. She emphasized three rules of success: stay in school, guard your reputation and do the right thing.
Reynolds’s parents were steelworkers who never graduated from high school and taught her that her “job” was to be a good student. Reynolds graduated from the Naval Academy in 1986 and served in a variety of posts around the world, including command of the Ninth Communication Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force in Fallujah, Iraq, from February 2004 to March 2005.   She also served in Afghanistan from March 2010 to March 2011.  She took command at Parris Island in June 2011.
Although this wasn’t a recruitment speech, Reynolds highlighted the importance of commitment to the military.
“When you put on the uniform, it’s no longer about you,” she said.  “When you put on the uniform, you are representing the American people.”