A year after attracting national attention for becoming the first woman to command Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, Brig. Gen. Lori Reynolds is being recognized for her accomplishments in a different kind of uniform.
Reynolds will be one of 40 influential women who played high school or college athletics to be honored Thursday in Washington, D.C., as part of an event celebrating the 40th anniversary of Title IX, a federal law that requires equal access to academic and extracurricular activities for women and men.
Reynolds, who played basketball at the U.S. Naval Academy, joins a list of honorees that includes comediennes Ellen DeGeneres and Tina Fey, college basketball coaching legend Pat Summit and tennis star Venus Williams.
All 40 women played high school or college athletics after Title IX was enacted in 1972, event organizers said.
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Reynolds was unavailable for comment Friday but plans to attend the event and "is deeply humbled to be selected as an honoree, particularly among that group of high-caliber women," said Lt. Melanie Salinas, recruit depot spokeswoman.
In addition to being the first woman to command the Corps' historic training base, Reynolds was the first female Marine to command in a war zone when she was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. Those achievements make the one-star general a trailblazer and role model for young women, event organizers said.
"Brig. Gen. Reynolds is a model for the type of candidate we envisioned when we first conceived of the event and the honorees," said Maria Brennan, president and CEO of Women in Cable Telecommunications, one of three organizations hosting the event. "Aside from being 'Title-Niners,' we wanted leaders, ground-breakers and innovators. Brig. Gen. Reynolds personifies all of these attributes, and she serves as a trailblazer for today's young women."
Other military service members to be honored at the dinner include Army Gen. Ann Dunwoody, who played college tennis and gymnastics at the State University of New York at Cortland; and Coast Guard Rear Adm. Sandra Stosz, a high school state-champion discus thrower.