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Minnie Spotted Wolf (1923–1988) was the first Native American woman to serve in the United States Marine Corps.

 A member of the Blackfoot tribe, Spotted Wolf spent her childhood working on her father's ranch in Heart Butte, Montana, where she cut fence posts, drove trucks and broke horses. She first expressed an interest in joining the army when she was aged 18, shortly after the US entered into World War 2 at the end of 1941. However she was initially discouraged by a recruitment officer who told her that the war was 'not for women'.

Spotted Wolf was eventually accepted into the Marine Corps Women's Reserve in July 1943, making her the first Native American female Marine. She almost did not accept the post as her father was dying from a horse riding accident, however her mother and sister strongly encouraged her to pursue her ambitions. She underwent rigorous boot camp training at Camp Lejeune, during which she gained 15 pounds of weight from the diet and rigorous exercise. She later described the training as "hard, but not too hard" given her background on the ranch.

On completion of her training Spotted Wolf went on to serve 4 years in the Marines in California and Hawaii. She drove trucks loaded with heavy equipment, a job normally reserved for men, and also sometimes worked as a jeep driver for visiting generals. Spotted Wolf's career quickly gathered media attention and she was featured in numerous news stories, and even her own comic book, to promote the war effort.


Following her discharge in 1947, Spotted Wolf returned to Montana where she married a farmer named Robert England with whom she had four children. She attended college to qualify as a teacher and spent the next 29 years teaching in reservation schools. She died in 1988 aged 65 and was buried in her military uniform.
Source

VIDEO
Minnie Spotted Wolf, Blackfoot, was the first Native woman to enter the Marine Corps Women's Reserve in WW ll.

Responses to "Honoring Minnie Spotted Wolf, the first Native American woman in the U.S. Marine Corps"

  1. BULLY FOR MINNIE FOR FIGHTING THE SYSTEM FOR WHAT SHE WANTED TO AC- COMPLISH. AND BACK IN 1941, THAT WASN'T EASY FOR NATIVE AMERICANS, ESPECIALLY NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN. i PAY TRIBUTE TO HER COURAGE AND RESOLVE, HER SUBSEQUENT CAREER AS A TEACHER, AND TO HER HERITAGE. LONG LIVE MINNIE'S LEGACY!!!!

  2. GW Martin says:

    Great story of a strong native Indian.

  3. Unknown says:

    Hooray for Minnie! And Boooos for the Army recruiter who couldn't see what a choice recruit he lost!

  4. "...She first expressed an interest in joining the army when she was aged 18, shortly after the US entered into World War 2 at the end of 1941. However she was initially discouraged by a recruitment officer who told her that the war was 'not for women'.
    Spotted Wolf was eventually accepted into the Marine Corps Women's Reserve in July 1943, making her the first Native American female Marine. She almost did not accept the post as her father was dying from a horse riding accident, however her mother and sister strongly encouraged her to pursue her ambitions. She underwent rigorous boot camp training at Camp Lejeune, during which she gained 15 pounds of weight from the diet and rigorous exercise. She later described the training as "hard, but not too hard" given her background on the ranch.
    On completion of her training Spotted Wolf went on to serve 4 years in the Marines in California and Hawaii. She drove trucks loaded with heavy equipment, a job normally reserved for men, and also sometimes worked as a jeep driver for visiting generals. Spotted Wolf's career quickly gathered media attention and she was featured in numerous news stories, and even her own comic book, to promote the war effort. ..."
    http://thefemalesoldier.com/blog/minnie-spotted-wolf

  5. Unknown says:

    SEMPWER FIDELIS, SPOTTED DEVIL-DOG!

  6. Unknown says:

    Thank you for your service and Semper Fi

  7. Truly an inspiration to ALL Americans! Thank you Ms Spotted Wolf for your service to the nation and your inspiration. RIP

  8. Unknown says:

    My undying gratitude to this exceptional lady. May her story never be forgotten as she was a true American, brave, strong and patriotic. We need more, both men and women with this determination and love for our country. After serving in the war she became a school teacher, another profession to be proud of. May God keep your example alive in many, many more.

  9. A'ho....Semper Fi and Yakoke for this Native Woman Marine! She was first of many more native veteran women and we thank her. Semper Fi from this old Woman Marine to our best example!

  10. Unknown says:

    must cheer for the army recruiter who passed on her so she could be a marine instead of a WAC

  11. Alpha says:

    Righteous story. RIH Marine.

  12. PROUD TO BE NATIVE!
    AM HONORED TO READ THIS AND PASS IT ON!!!
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND DEDICATION TO YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND COUNTRY
    R.I.P. SALUTE A'HO

  13. Unknown says:

    Interesting story; it was an honor to read it. Native Americans did quite a bit toward the war effort during that time. They all should be honored along with all the veterans.

  14. ----------really great to read about her --- Minnie Spotted Wolf -- and of who she was and of what she heroically did, in so many ways and levels --- her character and of her origins of her past are seen upon her face --- all honor in her name, an with her family and with her people --- may she be in eternal peace and much gratitude to her ---

  15. Valjean McNutt Messier says:

    She's just been added to my list of hero's !

  16. Proud of her, and her sister an mother
    Wanting her to go for it.

  17. Elena says:

    Well done Minnie, you followed your dream!

  18. Unknown says:

    I thank God for this courageous woman, who paved the way for many others.
    SEMPER FI!

  19. Benbahe says:

    Thank you

  20. Unknown says:

    Thank you for your service fellow Marine and a Happy Marine Corps Birthday in HEAVEN for that is surely where you are

  21. Very grateful and proud of this great woman in history. Too bad the above video is marked private.

    Deborah from WA

  22. Unknown says:

    Minnie was also a mother of four children. She was a fine example of strength. Her determination to serve her country even though she had been discouraged. A teacher is in our culture ~ tradition the role of the women. Wado Sister

  23. There is nothing new in this, Aboriginal American Women have had the privilege of fighting in war long before the Europeans arrived in the Americas. Why do you all think the Spanish named rainforests in Brazil the Amazon Rainforests.

    She did what she decided she wanted to do and it was only white Americans who got in her way.

    The Marine Corps Had nothing to do with her ambition to be a Marine. If only women of today had her drive and tenacity then we all would be better off.

  24. Unknown says:

    Thank you for your service.

  25. What a wonderful legacy of service! A role model for all.

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