The Marine Corps must update its parental-leave policies to give new moms and dads time with their newborns, the service's new top general wrote this week, including considering a full year's worth of leave for women who've had a child.
Marines should not be expected to choose between being the best parent possible and their career duties, Commandant Gen. David Berger wrote in his planning guidance released to the force Tuesday.
"These outcomes should never be in competition to the extent that success with one will come at the expense of the other," Berger wrote. "Our parental/maternity leave policies are inadequate and have failed to keep pace with societal norms and modern talent management practices."
The Marine Corps will continue looking at ways for men and women to train together at both of its recruit depots, the service's new top general said, even though one of the bases is currently closed to women.
The commandant of the Marine Corps will have five years to stop separating men and women at the service's oldest boot camp, if a new amendment added to the 2020 defense authorization bill survives to ratification.
Rep. Jackie Speier, a California Democrat and chair of the House Armed Services Military Personnel subcommittee, proposed the amendment on Wednesday, which would prohibit gender-segregated training at the Marine Corps recruit depots.
"Training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, may not be segregated based on gender," the measure states. "The Commandant of the Marine Corps shall carry out this subsection not later than five years after the date of the enactment of this Act."
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.