Historic Marine base gets 1st-ever female general

PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. (AP) - For the first time in its 96-year history, a female general will lead the famed Marine Corps training installation at South Carolina's Parris Island.

The Marine Corps says Brig. Gen. Loretta Reynolds will take charge of the depot Friday. The one-star Naval Academy graduate is taking command from Brig. Gen. Frederick Padilla, who will lead the 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa, Japan.

Reynolds has been a Marine for 24 years. She's also going to be in charge of Marines' Eastern Recruiting Region, which covers the 23 states east of the Mississippi River. She has been a communications officer and commanded Marines from platoon to battalion levels.

The installation graduates more than 20,000 Marines every year.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.