The Marine Corps can’t make boot camp completely gender integrated, outgoing commandant says

news
Recruit Training Fourth Phase

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Some men and women attending Marine Corps boot camp are training more closely together than ever, but the training is unlikely to be fully integrated, the service's top general said this week.

Marine Corps leaders are currently reviewing the performance of the first-ever coed company that lived, trained and graduated together in March. In some areas, they performed better than other companies and in other areas worse, Commandant Gen. Robert Neller told Military.com at the Sea-Air-Space conference outside Washington, D.C.


That has led to a look at where there's opportunity for training to be further blended, Lt. Gen. David Berger, the general officer nominated to replace Neller as commandant, told lawmakers last week. But it's not possible for Marine Corps boot camp to ever be 100% coed, Neller said Monday.

"In the summertime, when we have the maximum number of recruits, both men and women, going through recruit training, the facilities don't support having them live in the same barracks," he said.

The women who joined the previously all-male company earlier this year lived in barracks where men also stayed, but the female recruits had their own squad bay.

Despite long-term housing limitations, Neller stressed that men and women at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, spend much of their time training together.

"It's not like we're trying to keep women over here and men over there," he said. "After the first phase, almost everything male and female recruits do at Parris Island is together."

The Marine Corps is the only service that separates male and female recruits during portions of their boot camp training. Some have said the move creates a gender divide that can last long into Marines' careers as the service fights to end gender bias.

Neller pushed back on that idea, though, saying 65% of the training Marine recruits at Parris Island get is coed. Men and women go to the rifle range together, conduct field training together, and sit in a squad bay together while they're mentored by senior drill instructors, he said.

"I think this idea that we're trying to disadvantage women is inaccurate," Neller said. "I think what we're trying to do is give all recruits every advantage to have the best opportunity to earn the title of Marine."

This article originally appeared on Military.com

More articles from Military.com:

SEE ALSO: The next Marine Commandant says another gender-integrated boot camp class could happen in 2020

WATCH NEXT: Gen. Neller Sounds Off On Tattoos In The Marine Corps

Photo illustration by Paul Szoldra

Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.

However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:

Read More

You can almost smell the gunpowder in the scene captured by a Marine photographer over the weekend, showing a Marine grunt firing a shotgun during non-lethal weapons training.

Read More

A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.

Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.

"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."

Read More

Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.

Read More
Protesters and militia fighters gather to condemn air strikes on bases belonging to Hashd al-Shaabi (paramilitary forces), outside the main gate of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq December 31, 2019. (Reuters/Thaier al-Sudani)

With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.

"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

Read More