Senior ranking Hispanic female promoted to brigadier general
By Lance Cpl. Kari D. Keeran
| Marine Corps Recruiting Command | August 02, 2006
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
Today is another landmark day in Marine Corps history. For the past 230 years, only five females have ever held the rank of general officer in the Marine Corps. Today, the sixth female Marine was promoted to general officer and she is the first Hispanic female to hold the rank of brigadier general.
Brigadier General Angela Salinas was promoted to her current rank during a ceremony at the Alfred M. Gray Research Center, here. In an audience full of friends and family, there were many senior ranking leaders from the Marine Corps, Army, and Navy in attendance for this historic moment. Some distinguished guests included Lt. Gen. Jan C. Huly, deputy commandant of the Marine Corps for plans, policies, and operations, retired Lt. Gen. Carol Mutter, Sergeant Major John L. Estrada, sergeant major of the Marine Corps and Angela Zavala, president and CEO of TIYM Publishing Company.
“I am amazed at the guests who are here today, and I want to thank everyone for supporting me and for being here today,” Salinas said.
The Commanding General of 2nd Marine Division, Maj. Gen. Walter E. Gaskin, hosted the promotion ceremony and reaffirmed Salinas’ commitment of leading Marines.
Gaskin listed three reasons why Salinas is such an outstanding Marine. First, “No job is ever too tough for Angie. Second, she always takes care of her Marines and Sailors. Third, (which drew laughter from the audience in regards to Salinas’ competitive nature while golfing) Angie gives no strokes on the golf course.”
“But seriously -- to become a general officer in the Marine Corps, it is one of the toughest cuts a Marine will go through. Angie has proven that she is ready and her capabilities are why she is getting promoted – she has the right stuff and will continue to deliver,” stated Gaskin. “I have watched her the past 30 years and I am very, very honored to promote her today. A matter of fact, I’m pumped, so let’s get this going!”
Gaskin promoted and administered the Oath of Office to Salinas prior to the pinning of her new rank insignia. Salinas’ two sisters, Janie Leal and Irene Friscina, her brother Amado, mother Florita, and Lt. Gen. Huly pinned on her stars.
Salinas was overwhelmed with her accomplishment and took a few moments to speak very fondly about her friends, family, and career.
The first words from the General were “Oh my God!” Then after a brief pause she continued with “For a recruiter to freak out on words is a very rare moment, but I am just totally amazed.”
While reminiscing with the audience, Salinas briefly described how she became a Marine.
“It all started when I went to mail a letter in my hometown post office and was approached by a very good looking guy -- a recruiter -- asking what I was going to do with my life,” Salinas continued. “A few days later I found myself standing on the yellow footprints at Parris Island, SC.”
According to Salinas, it all happened so quickly that her family didn’t even have a clue she was in boot camp. “All along they thought I was in Paris!”
Salinas enlisted in the Marine Corps in May 1974. She was commissioned in December 1977 and has made many landmarks throughout her 32 years of service. In June 1989, Salinas became the first female in the Marine Corps to command a recruiting station. In June 1992, she became the first woman ever to be assigned as a combat service support ground monitor. Then in the Spring of 2001, she became the first woman to serve as a recruiting district commanding officer.
Salinas has also received several distinguished recognitions throughout her career.
The Women in Military Service to America selected Salinas as a “ground breaker,” she received Latina Style Magazine’s Leadership Award, was named as one of the top 100 most influential Hispanics in the country and as one of the country’s 80 most elite women by Hispanic Magazine.
Salinas concluded her remarks by adding; “I am just truly honored today. To every Marine who has ever crossed my path, it has been great. This promotion is really about the Marine Corps and is due to the efforts of all of you – thank you all again and God Bless.”
In lieu of flowers, which are traditionally given to family members, Brig. Gen. Salinas made a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project. This fund was incorporated to take care of men and women wounded in combat. It began during Desert Storm and takes care of injured warriors as soon as they are taken off the battlefield. The objective of the project is to ensure wounded warriors are taken care of through the process of healing and recovery.
With her tour at the Marine Corps Recruiting Command completed, she will now transfer to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Ca. where she will become the first woman to command the depot and Western Recruiting Region.