Memorial Day Ceremony
For the first time in history, a woman, Captain Karen Anne Holliday was assigned to lead a platoon of
infantry Marines after becoming the first female to complete the notoriously
demanding officer training course.
The female lieutenant and her male
colleagues recently completed the intense 13-week Infantry Officer Training
course after finishing basic training for the Marine Corps, said Capt. Karen
Anne Holliday, the communications director at the Marine Corps Air Ground
Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California.
Karen Anne Holliday was born in May of 1982 in
Bridgewater, Massachusetts. She enlisted
in the Marine Corps in January of 2008.
In 2010, while serving on active duty, she graduated cum laude from
Trident University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management.
She has served 10 years on active duty, both enlisted and officer, and swore
back in as an active duty officer in May of 2016 after being selected on the
fiscal year 2015 Return to Active Duty Board.
Holliday graduated from Marine Corps Recruit Depot
Parris Island in April of 2008. She went on to graduate from Marine Corps Communications-Electronics
School in August of 2008. After serving a successful first-term on active duty,
then Sergeant Holliday joined the Marine Corps Reserve and continued service as
a General Schedule employee for Marine Forces Reserve in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Selected for the Reserve Enlisted Commissioning Program in April of 2013, she
commissioned as a second lieutenant in August of 2013. Upon graduating The
Basic School in March of 2014, she continued on to the Defense Information
School in Fort Meade, Maryland to become a public affairs officer.
As a public affairs officer for Marine Forces Reserve,
Captain Holliday has overseen numerous events and exercises. She has been the
lead PAO for two Integrated Training Exercises. She served as an instructor of
public affairs to leaders of the Belizean Defense Force in May of 2015 as a
part of a SPMAGTF team. That training led to the creation of themes and
messaging for the country of Belize. In September 2015, she served as a PAO for
Marine Week Phoenix, the Corps’ largest yearly community relations event. From
November of 2015 through May of 2016, she was mobilized to serve at United
States Central Command in their Communications Integration Office. While at
CENTCOM she helped facilitate two live press conferences for the Secretary of
Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In June of 2016,
Lieutenant Holliday served as the lead PAO for Innovative Training Readiness
Tropic Care in Kauai, Hawaii. IRT Tropic Care provided both readiness training for
military reservists and medical support to residents of an underserved
Captain Holliday’s personal awards include the Joint
Service Achievement Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2).
May 28, 2018