This Furry Poolee Is About To Make History At Parris Island

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An English bulldog named Opha Mae, right, will be the 21st mascot at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.
U.S. Marine Corps photo

She's the first, or will be -- as soon as she completes "recruit training."


"Opha Mae," an English bulldog puppy who will soon be Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island's new mascot, will be the first female to occupy the post, according to depot officials.

She is "currently a poolee," according to depot spokesman Capt. Adam Flores, "and will begin recruit training in the near future," with her official start date yet to be determined.

She's named in honor of Opha Mae Johnson, who in 1918 enlisted in the Corps and became the first female Marine, according to the Women Marines Association. Johnson was the first of some 300 women who joined the Corps that year to assume clerical duties so other Marines could be sent overseas to fight in World War I.

By war's end, Johnson was the senior enlisted woman, having been promoted to sergeant, according to Marine Corps history.

The puppy, acquired from Dave and Judy Magnus of DJ's Bullies and Beaks, south of Savannah, will be Parris Island's 21st mascot, according to Flores.

She'll take over from "Cpl. Legend," whose health the Corps says is declining.

"Per the Depot Order," Flores wrote in an email, "the (depot) veterinarian's assessment of the current mascot is our trigger to start the replacement process."

Cpl. Legend began serving in the fall of 2011; he has been one of the longest-serving dogs, Flores said. He was preceded by Sgt. Archibald Hummer, who passed away in September of that year.

Cpl. Legend will continue his duties -- which include attending ceremonial events, Morning Colors ceremonies and graduations -- until Opha Mae finishes recruit training.

Parris Island's mascots date back to 1914, according to Flores. The first was an Irish Terrier named "Mike," for whom a memorial stands near the commanding general's home -- it's the oldest monument on base.

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©2017 The Island Packet (Hilton Head, S.C.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

T-38 Talon training aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Two airmen from Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, were killed on Thursday when two T-38 Talon training aircraft crashed during training mission, according to a message posted on the base's Facebook age.

The two airmen's names are being withheld pending next of kin notification.

A total of four airmen were onboard the aircraft at the time of the incident, base officials had previously announced.

The medical conditions for the other two people involved in the crash was not immediately known.

An investigation will be launched to determine the cause of the crash.

Emergency responders from Vance Air Force Base are at the crash scene to treat casualties and help with recovery efforts.

Read the entire message below:

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Two Vance Air Force Base Airmen were killed in an aircraft mishap at approximately 9:10 a.m. today.

At the time of the accident, the aircraft were performing a training mission.

Vance emergency response personnel are on scene to treat casualties and assist in recovery efforts.

Names of the deceased will be withheld pending next of kin notification.

A safety investigation team will investigate the incident.

Additional details will be provided as information becomes available. #VanceUpdates.

This is a breaking news story. It will be updated as more information is released.

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