Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island’s first female mascot, English bulldog Opha May, has graduated recruit training, according to a depot news release.
Private First Class Opha May began recruit training in August and will assume her official mascot role during the graduation ceremony for Alpha and Papa companies, scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday.
She is Parris Island’s 21st mascot, according to the depot.
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She’s named in honor of Opha Mae Johnson — yes, she spells her name differently — who in 1918 enlisted in the Corps and became the first female Marine, according to the Women Marines Association. Johnson was the first of some 300 women who joined the Corps that year to assume clerical duties so other Marines could be sent overseas to fight in World War I.
By war’s end, Johnson was the senior enlisted woman, having been promoted to sergeant, according to Marine Corps history.