The Marine Corps has decided that its personnel just can't handle the power that comes with being a brown or black belt warrior unless they are at least a non-commissioned officer.

The Corps updated its order for its Martial Arts Program last month, which added in a rank requirement for both belts starting on Oct. 1. Per the new order, Marines will need to be a corporal in order to attain a brown belt, or a sergeant to attain the black belt. In the past, Marines could attain any belt, regardless of rank, as long as they went through the training and passed all the requirements.

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Photo: David Crozier/The NCO Leadership Center of Excellence

Soldiers attending the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy can now put those coursework hours towards earning a bachelors degree, in an effort to bring "enlisted education up to par with officer education."

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Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Donald Holbert

Just because you become a non-commissioned officer doesn’t mean life becomes any easier. As you rise through the ranks, the responsibilities become heavier, and the physical training is just as brutal as ever.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo

The civil-military divide is a term that refers to a growing cultural gap between the broader civilian society and the small percentage of people who currently serve, or have served in the military. But the term and its implications have yet to be clearly defined and understood.

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