Special Marine Unit Tests Women In Combat Roles

The Marine Corps has created an experimental unit, called the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, in order to determine what combat roles will open up to female Marines. Like the other services, the Corps is facing a 2016 deadline to fully integrate women into combat jobs, or seek exemptions from the Department of Defense for certain career fields.

The unit is comprised of several hundred volunteers, about a third of whom are women. In addition to learning infantry tactics, tank crew skills, and artillery gunnery, the unit conducts scientific testing in order to determine physical performance and how best to avoid injuries on the job. The task force has a final purpose — determining what mix of men and women makes the most successful combat unit.