"Be A Marine... Free a Marine to fight. U.S. Marine Corps Women's Reserve" Vintage WWII Tabletop Poster, 1943

This vintage recruitment tabletop poster was issued shortly after the United States entered WWII and urges women to join the United States Marine Corps Women’s Reserve. The poster is printed with the recruitment slogan “Be A Marine, Free A Marine To Fight” and depicts a woman marine in uniform with resolute and determined gaze, with soldiers behind her. The poster was distributed by the Office of War Information for the U.S. Marine Corps and issued on January 28, 1943. 

The United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve was authorized by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on July 30, 1942. Its purpose was to release men for combat and replace them with women in U.S. shore stations, for the duration of the war plus an extra six months.

The slogan "Free a Marine to Fight" proved to be a persuasive motto for the Marines Women’s Reserve, stronger than any fashioned by the WAC, WAVES, or SPARS. Many brave young women were eager to serve in the military during World War II, often in spite of family wishes, negative public sentiment, and gendered prejudice. 

Marine Corps Women’s Reserve members served at shore and air stations across the continental United States and the incorporated territory of Hawaii. They served in professional and clerical roles, skilled trades and services, as well as sales. The peak strength of the Reserve was about 19,000 members. With the end of World War II in sight, the corps began to demobilize the members. By December 1945, the Reserve was down to 12,300, and by August 1946 it had about 300 members.


Good condition, considering age and past use. Has a mount on the back, which turns teh sign into a tabletop cardboard stand. Printed on thicker paper, with a crease and small tear at lower right corner, due to past storage. Some adhesive at top left side margin. Bottom margin printed with  "1.28.43 REQ'N 4421 25M" at left and  “Litho in USA” at right. Poster dimensions: 20" H x 14 1/4" W.  Poster sold unframed, as-is.

Related Items