Lieutenant Colonel Julia E. Hamblet ’37 became the third director of the Women Marines, with the rank of colonel.  Hamblet enlisted in the Women’s Reserve of the U. S. Marine Corps, established on February 13, 1943, in April of that year.  Commissioned as first lieutenant on May 4, 1943, she rose quickly through the ranks, succeeding Colonel Katherine Towle in September, 1946, as director of the Women’s Reserve.

The Women’s Armed Forces Integration Act of 1948 transformed the Women’s Reserve into the Women Marines, into which Hamblet was commissioned in November, 1948.  In assuming the directorship of the Women Marines, Colonel Hamblet was the youngest woman to head a branch of the U. S. military.