Wednesday, March 18, 2015

International Women’s History Month

International Women’s History Month acknowledges
Chief Warrant Officer – 3 Carmen E. Cole USMC Ret.
Submitted by Elmetra Patterson

Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) 3 Carmen E. Cole a native of Milwaukee Wisconsin, with roots in Louisville, MS, began her military career enlisting in the Marine Corps in November 1980. She completed recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD), Woman Recruit Training Command (WRTC), Parris Island SC., in June 1981 and was trained as a motor transport maintenance mechanic at Camp Johnson, Jacksonville NC. formally known as Montford Point. She reported to 2d Maintenance Battalion, Camp Lejeune, NC in November of 1981. While there, she was meritoriously promoted to Lance Corporal, Corporal and Sergeant. In 1984 she returned to MCRD, Parris Island SC. as a Drill Instructor and Senior Drill Instructor.

In 1986 she reported to 3rd Maintenance Battalion Okinawa Japan where she served as the battalion administrative chief and as a mechanic. In 1988 she transferred to 7th Motor Transport Maintenance Battalion, Camp Pendleton, CA serving as a Platoon Sergeant and Marine Corps Integrated Maintenance Management System (MIMMS) clerk. In 1990 she was promoted to Staff Sergeant and became the first female Motor Transport Maintenance Shop Chief in the command.

In 1993 she was selected as a Warrant Officer becoming the first female in Marine Corps history to be a Motor Transport Maintenance Officer. After completing The Basic School (TBS) for Warrant Officers at Marine Corps Base, Quantico, VA. and the Motor Transport Maintenance Officers course at Camp Johnson, Jacksonville NC., she was assigned to Marine Air Control Squadron-2, Marine Air Group–31, Beaufort, SC serving as the Maintenance Management Officer (MMO). She was promoted to CWO-2 during this tour.

In 1996 CWO-2 Cole returned to 3d Maintenance Battalion, Motor Transport Maintenance Company, Okinawa Japan as the Maintenance Officer. During this tour she assisted with the initial restructuring and merger of the command with 3d Supply Battalion to form 3d Material Readiness Battalion.

In 1998 she was assigned as the Inspector-Instructor (I&I) Detachment-2, Augusta Ga., 4th Maintenance Battalion becoming the first female I&I to command the active duty staff in support of the Marine Reserve Unit at Augusta Ga. During this tour she was promoted to CWO-3.

In 2001 CWO-3 Cole retired from the Marine Corps to accept a position as the Senior Marine Instructor of Marine Corps Junior ROTC, at Butler High School, Augusta GA. becoming the first female instructor in their 30 years of having a MCJROTC program. While at Butler High School the program was recognized as a Naval Honors School for consecutive years. She was also the softball and soccer coach, PTA treasurer and was selected as Teacher of the Year in 2007.

In 2010 she resigned her position at Butler High and relocated to Marine Corps Junior ROTC Headquarters Marine Corps Base, Quantico Virginia to become the Marine Corps Junior ROTC Instructional Systems Specialist (ISS). In 2011 she was reassigned and became the first female to be the Operations Manager for Marine Corps Junior ROTC programs with ISS as an additional responsibility. As the Operations Manager, she is responsible for the daily coordination and operations of 6 Regions with 235 MCJROTC programs. She travels throughout the country to promote the MCJROTC program, looking for new locations and potential instructors, she trains new instructors, and ensures all MCJROTC Instructors have the tools they need to lead and mentor their cadets.

Carmen is currently the National Montford Point Marine Association Inc., Quantico Chapter #32 Vice President. She also serves as the interim secretary, her previous position until the vacancy can be filled. She is also an active member of the Virginia-1 Chapter, Women Marines Association and the Marine Corps League Mickey Finn Detachment #333.

Her community service and volunteer work has resulted in recognition as The Keeper of the Flame from Maranatha Seventh Day Adventist Church in San Diego, CA and Lady of the Year at the National Montford Point Marine Association, Inc. 48th Convention, San Diego, CA.

Carmen Cole is a 1998 graduate of Park University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Management. She received her Master’s Degree in Leadership Education from Augusta State University in 2007. She is married to Angelo Crawford USMC retired; they have 3 daughters; Claudia Cole, Valdosta State University graduate, Taylor Crawford, Old Dominion University sophomore and Micaela Crawford, Colonial Forge High School Senior, Stafford, Va.

Carmen is the daughter of the late Charles E. Clifton and Claudell Hughes Clifton-Weaver. She is the granddaughter of 96 year old Betsy Ann Hughes-Eichelberger of Louisville, MS.