TOLEDO (WTOL) - Last year marked the 100th anniversary of women in the United States Marine Corps.
Staff Sgt. Jessica Coit is on the job, talking to kids at the Maritime Academy. She’s from South Carolina, but during her 16-year career, two of them have been spent here in Toledo looking for a few good men or women.
It’s not so hard to see herself in the students. After graduating from high school, Coit was working two jobs, wondering about her future, when she met a recruiter and it all fell in place.
“I might happen to be out of uniform when I talk to some kids and I ask, ‘have they thought about joining the military,’ I don’t tell them I’m a Marine. They say they’re considering it and ask what branch I’m in. I tell them truthfully the best, because nine times out of 10 they know which branch it is. They say, ‘Marines!’”she said.
Coit played basketball in her younger days, which toughened her up for boot camp.
“In training they say go run a mile and a half. I say. ‘OK we do that in warm-ups,’ so I’ll just go run a mile and a half. So, I think it all works out here like it was supposed to," Coit said.
During her career in the Marines, Coit seen the world. She’s been to Japan three times.
She said that enlisting as a Marine -- and being a woman in the Marines -- was the best thing she ever did.
“The stability, the lack of financial burden, don’t have to worry about a paycheck coming, for the benefits... everything’s perfect. I was made to be a Marine,” she said.