Marines' Parris Island gets first female commander

Brig. Gen. Lori Reynolds

PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. (WACH, 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.

Brig. Gen. Loretta Reynolds will become the first woman commanding general during a change of command ceremony on Friday.

The one-star Naval Academy graduate will also oversee the Marines' Eastern Recruiting Region, which covers states east of the Mississippi River.

Reynolds has been a Marine for 24 years. She has been a communications officer and commanded Marines from platoon to battalion levels.

Reynolds replaces Brig. Gen. Frederick Padilla who is becoming commanding general of the 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa, Japan.

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

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)