MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. --
The first black female Marine enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1948, during the World War II era.
Today, less than three percent of the Marine Corps is comprised of black females. Sgt. Maj. KeCia Jordan, the sergeant major of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, is showing that she is more than a statistic; she is a part of Marine Corps history.
Jordan received a plaque in recognition as the first black female sergeant major of the Air Station by a local organization, Feb. 15.
"If it wasn’t for the Marine Corps, my life wouldn’t be a bed of roses," said Jordan.
The Marine Corps taught Jordan honor, courage, and commitment. She felt the Corps would be best for her because if she was tough, then she needed to be with tough people.
"Whatever you go through, there’s going to be worse tomorrow, so don’t hold on to the past, because there is more to come," said Jordan." If you hold on to it, it’s going to drag you down."
"She’s always been a hard charger," said Pastor Chauncey Campbell.
Campbell and Jordan met while serving on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. Campbell said he noticed her determination from the start.
"Gender has nothing to do with it. It just requires hard work to get to the top," said Campbell.
Jordan started her career as a single mother of two, and struggled to keep a job and raise her children. She was a hard worker, but needed the discipline the Marine Corps offered.
"Help is out there," said Jordan, "You just have to know where to go, who to ask, and when in doubt, [pray]."
While discrimination has not impacted Jordan’s career, being a minority in the Marine Corps has pushed her to work harder to prove herself.
"Just because I’m short, I’m a woman, and I’m black, doesn’t mean I don’t have power," said Jordan.
On a day to day basis she doesn’t think about being the first black female sergeant major of the Air Station, but instead does her job and "gives back what was given to her."
"It’s not a black thing; it’s not a [race] thing," said Jordan."Females in general have it hard, because we have to work twice as hard as our male counterparts.Your problems are going to come and go, and when you get one, let it go."
Jordan has been in the Marine Corps for approximately 28 years, and sets an example for all Marines.
"Just take a 30 inch step, and keep on going," said Jordan.