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The Corps May Finally Open Boot Camp, Combat Training At MCRD San Diego To Women
The U.S. Marine Corps is reportedly considering a new plan to allow women to attend both boot camp and combat training alongside their fellow male recruits at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, the Associated Press reports, a move that Corps officials claimed was intended to “quash recurring problems with sexism and other bad behavior among Marines.”
The change could come “as soon as next spring,” according to the AP.
All female Marine recruits currently attend boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina; home of the branch’s only all-female training battalion. The first female infantry Marines graduated from Parris Island and signed enlistment contracts in January. But male recruits can go through both boot camp and combat training at either Parris Island or MCRD San Diego, while women are required to remain on the East Coast in their segregated battalion.
If approved, opening San Diego to female Marines “could be the first step in a broader campaign to give male Marines who do their initial training on the West Coast the opportunity to work with female colleagues early in their career,” according to the AP — a plan that could help begin to stamp out the strains of sexism and misogyny that have roiled the Corps this year.
In March, an investigation by The War Horse and Reveal News disclosed the existence of "Marines United," a 30,000-member strong Facebook group used to share explicit media of female service members, veterans and civilians and the latest digital manifestation of the Corps’ ongoing problems integrating women into its ranks. While the Marine commandant, Gen. Robert Neller, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service quickly moved to amend service regulations and punish those involved, revenge porn remains alive and well among both active-duty service members and veterans beyond the reach of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
And even Corps brass have experienced difficulties attempting to stamp out the more banal trappings of a previously all-male culture. In June, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island commander Brig. Gen. Austin Renforth sparked furor after expressing his desire to keep the earliest stages of training segregated by gender, stating in an interview with Military.com that the adjustment period for female recruits comes with “a lot of tears, [and] a lot of struggling.”
"I think we're trying to find, recruiting-wise, those women who were handed lacrosse sticks and hockey sticks growing up and not Barbie dolls," Renforth told Military.com at the time. "We don't always get that."
Corps officials quickly walked back Renforth’s remarks after both active-duty service members and veterans expressed their frustration with Renforth’s comments, not just as a statement of potential policy, but a poor mindset to model to newly enlisted Marines beginning their service alongside female troops.
"The environment at [Parris Island] was one where we create gender stereotypes, we say that no women can be as strong as male Marines,” retired Lt. Col Kate Germano, a former commander of Parris Island's all-female Fourth Recruit Training Battalion who was relieved in 2015, told Military.com in response to Renforth’s remarks. “The commanding general of Parris Island just told male recruits that women can't compete."
How a potential change will impact operations at both Parris Island and San Diego remains unclear. Public affairs officers at both MCRDs, as well as a spokesman for Neller, did not respond to requests for comment from Task & Purpose. But if the Corps wants to quash issues stemming from sexism and misogyny, the brass had better start sooner rather than later. A May report from the Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office revealed that the Marine Corps had the highest frequency of sexual harassment and abuse among all services — a problem that shows no sign of disappearing anytime soon.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Iron Mountain. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Iron Mountain is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.
Jackie Melendrez couldn't be prouder of her husband, her sons, and the fact that she works for the trucking company Iron Mountain. This regional router has been a Mountaineer since 2017, and says the support she receives as a military spouse and mother is unparalleled.
Master Sgt. Larry Hawks, a retired engineer sergeant who served with 3rd Special Forces Group, is being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on Friday for "valorous actions" in Afghanistan in 2005.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 40-foot-tall (12 meters) cross-shaped war memorial standing on public land in Maryland does not constitute government endorsement of religion, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a decision that leaves unanswered questions about the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state.
The justices were divided on many of the legal issues but the vote was 7-2 to overturn a lower court ruling that had declared the so-called Peace Cross in Bladensburg unconstitutional in a legal challenge mounted by the American Humanist Association, a group that advocates for secular governance. The concrete cross was erected in 1925 as a memorial to troops killed in World War One.
The ruling made it clear that a long-standing monument in the shape of a Christian cross on public land was permissible but the justices were divided over whether other types of religious displays and symbols on government property would be allowed. Those issues are likely to come before the court in future cases.
A relative of the man who opened fire outside downtown Dallas' federal building this week warned the FBI in 2016 that he shouldn't be allowed to buy a gun because he was depressed and suicidal, his mother said Thursday.
Brian Clyde's half-brother called the FBI about his concerns, their mother Nubia Brede Solis said. Clyde was in the Army at the time.
On Monday, Clyde opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle at the Earle Cabell Federal Building. He was fatally shot by federal law enforcement. No one else was seriously injured. His family believes Clyde wanted to be killed.