The Marine Corps makes history today as three enlisted female Marines with infantry jobs join an infantry battalion which was closed for many years right now recently.
The milestone comes over four years as soon as the Corps started to study the results of opening infantry units to ladies and approximately annually after Defense Secretary Ashton Carter issued a mandate in December 2015 requiring all services to open up previously closed jobs to women.
The three Marines are all bound for 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, 2nd Marine Division spokesman 1st Lt. John McCombs told us. While McCombs would not identify the women or reveal their ranks, citing privacy concerns as they acclimate for the fleet, he said they have the military occupational specialties (MOS) of rifleman, mortarman and machine gunner.
Marine Corps Times, which first wrote in regards to the arrival with the Marines, reported that three graduated in the School of Infantry at Camp Lejeune as part in the Corps’ multi-year effort to study the gender integration in the ground combat ranks.
During this test period, some 240 female Marines graduated from Lejeune’s Infantry Training Battalion course. While during the time this accomplishment failed to make sure they are qualified for hold an infantry MOS or serve within an infantry unit, the Marine Corps announced last January these infantry graduates were now qualified for request a lateral go on to serve in a very grunt unit.
In maintaining the Corps’ intend to help female infantrymen adapt towards the new environment, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, has incorporated a tiny “leadership cadre” of more senior female Marines in support specialties, placed from the unit before hand, McCombs said.
“That leadership consists of a logistics officer, motor transportation officer, plus a wire chief,” he explained. “They could have held it’s place in location for no less than 3 months prior towards the first female infantry Marines arriving to the unit. This process ensures the
Marine Corps will comply with its standards and will continue its emphasis on combat readiness.”
McCombs said he cannot talk with why that battalion ended up chosen for the 1st female infantry transfers, and would not immediately know if the unit is next slated to deploy.
More female infantrymen may soon join the fleet. We broke what is the news last week that the very first group of female infantry enlistees is placed to graduate boot camp this month.
The Corps reaches the milestone of adding female infantrymen to its ranks despite previous misgivings at the most senior levels. In September 2015, the service released the summary connection between research showing that in a year-long test of gender-integrated infantry units, teams with both men and women Marines had shot less accurately and performed more slowly than all-male teams.
Ultimately, then-commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford, now the chairman with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, requested to exempt women from certain infantry units, a request which was denied by Carter. The nominee for secretary of defense, retired Marine Gen.
James Mattis, has voiced concerns about whether women are suited towards the “intimate killing” of close ground combat.
Asked about women serving in infantry units at the Washington, D.C., event in December, Commandant Gen. Robert Neller noted that women have been serving in combat while deployed for a long time, and said the Marine Corps is implementing its current guidance.
Neller declined to speculate about whether the question of women in ground combat roles would resurface in the administration of President-elect Donald Trump, but said service leadership would address the situation if contacted.
“If we’re asked what our best military advice is, we’ll make that known during those times,” he was quoted saying.