Edith Macias Vann
The Macias family of Jersey City, New Jersey was well represented in the Marine Corps when its only daughters, Edith and Sarah, were sworn in on on September 5, 1918 in New York. Edith and Sarah had been working as stenographers in New York when they saw the classified advertisement that the Marine Corps was accepting women. They both had good clerical and stenographic experi ence and were sure that they possessed the necessary qualifi cations for enrollment. Sarah was 27 years old , and Edith, although only 17, had been telling her bosses and the D. Apple ton Publishing Company that she was 19, so, she thought, why not the Marine Corps too?
After a lengthly discussion with the recruiting officers concerning background and experience , the girls were given a physical examination, medical shots, and the stenographic test. Edith in her excitement failed the test and was going to be turned down, so Sarah bravely asked permission to talk to Colonel McLemore , the senior recruiting officer, and succeeded in convincing him of Edith's ability. They were both sworn in on that day and ordered to report the following Monday to Washington for assignment. Although their parents " nearly fainted " when the girls broke the news of their enrollment, the two silk stars found hanging in the window of the Macias home the next day was proof indeed of the tremendous pride felt by their family. Privates Edith and Sarah were detailed for assignment together as stenographers in the office of the Adjutant and Inspector. Upon their discharge, Edith had attained the rank of private first class and Sarah the rank of Corporal.
The 305 women reservists enrolled between the months of August and November 1918, proved to be a capable and industrious group and by the end of the war a good number had been promoted to Private First Class, Corporal, and Sergeant, the highest rank obtainable. In keeping with Marine Corps policy, the women received the same pay as enlisted men of corresponding rank: Private $15.00; Private First Class, $ 18.00; Corporal $ 21.00; and Sergeant, $ 30.00 per month, plus an additional $83.40 per month for subsistence and quarters.