Male And Female Marine Recruits To Train Together At Parris Island, But Not For The Reason You Think

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First Female Marine Graduates Infantry Officer Course

The Marine Corps is finally having men and women train in the same unit at recruit training, but boot camp is not officially integrated, a military official told Task & Purpose.


ABC News first reported that Parris Island's 3rd Recruit Training Battalion will have one female platoon and five male platoons starting on Jan. 5.

A U.S. military official confirmed that the ABC story is accurate but added the reason is because there will be only about 50 female recruits at Parris Island this cycle, and that is not enough to stand up a full staff at the 4th Recruit Training Battalion, the female training unit.

But that explanation is not entirely convincing, said retired Lt. Col. Kate Germano, who led the 4th Recruit Training Battalion in 2014 and 2015. The Marine Corps recruited a record 13,000 women last year, Germano told Task & Purpose on Friday.

"If they were saying that there weren't enough women, what they would have done is not had a female class," Germano said. "They would have just held off shipping females to boot camp until the next class, when they had enough women."

Friday's news that male and female recruits will train together is still a milestone because it marks the first time the Marine Corps has truly integrated women into a training unit, Germano said.

"So, I'm not sure where they are going to go next but I don't think you can go backwards from here," she said.

Germano has long advocated for integrating boot camp because studies have shown that having men and women train together improves how male recruits view their female counterparts.

"The Marine Corps for so long has tried to skirt around defining what integration means by having men and women train together, for example, on the same football-sized field – for example at the gas chamber – but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're integrated," Germano said.

"It sounds like now men and women that start together will actually graduate together, which will improve camaraderie; it will improve attitudes about how they perform; and it's just going to have a positive impact overall. It's one more step in the process of really making women included rather than a distinct and separate part of the population."

SEE ALSO: She Tried To Raise The Standard For Female Recruits. The Marines Fired Her For It. This Is Her Story

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The Air Force vet said she went to the Atlanta VA Medical Center in Decatur last year for surgery on a broken foot. But the doctor called it off because the surgical instruments hadn't been properly sterilized.

"The tools had condensation on them," recalled Brys, a 50-year-old Marietta resident. The doctor rescheduled it for the next day.

Now the 400-plus-bed hospital on Clairmont Road that serves about 120,000 military veterans is in a state of emergency. It suspended routine surgeries in late September after a string of incidents that exposed mismanagement and dangerous practices. It hopes to resume normal operations by early November as it struggles to retrain staff and hire new nurses.

The partial shutdown came about two weeks after Joel Marrable, a cancer patient in the same VA complex, was found covered with more than 100 ant bites by his daughter. Also in September, the hospital's canteen was temporarily closed for a pest investigation.

The mounting problems triggered a leadership shakeup Sept. 17, when regional director Leslie Wiggins was put on administrative leave. Dr. Arjay K. Dhawan, the regional medical director, was moved to administrative duties pending an investigation. Seven staff members were reassigned to non-patient care.

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But Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, acknowledged in a briefing with reporters that the U.S. aid — already approved by Congress — was held up partly over Trump's concerns about a Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer server alleged to be in Ukraine.

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Reuters journalists at the border heard machine-gun fire and shelling and saw smoke rising from the Syrian border battlefield city of Ras al Ain, although the sounds of fighting had subsided by mid-morning.

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