(U.S. Marine Corps photo)

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

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."

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WASHINGTON — Advocates of taking the decision for prosecuting military sexual assaults — a persistent problem within the ranks — outside the chain of command scored a significant victory Wednesday when the House Armed Services Committee approved a pilot program that would do just that at the service academies.

Rep. Jackie Speier, chairwoman of the Military Personnel Subcommittee, pushed through a four-year program that would require the commandants of the service academies to follow the recommendation of an independent prosecutor in cases of sexual assault.

The language triggered familiar objections from Republicans about removing such cases from the chain of command, but ultimately prevailed on a mostly party-line vote.

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Photo via DoD

After a piercing March investigation pointed to the 30,000-member strong “Marines United” Facebook group as ground zero for the Corps’ nude-photo scandal, successor groups immediately sprung up across social media and file-sharing networks to keep explicit photos of unconsenting female service members, veterans, and civilians flowing across the internet. And despite the looming threats of courts-martial and criminal prosecutions, military-connected strains of misogyny and sexism are alive and well — and have turned more vile and vicious online.

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Photo via DoD

Officials with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service have reviewed more than 131,000 images spread across 168 websites as part of the military’s investigation into the non-consensual distribution of explicit photos and videos in the two months since the “Marines United” scandal broke, a congresswoman with knowledge of the investigation has told Task & Purpose.

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