Capt. Michael Bruce, outgoing commander of Echo Battery, Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, hands the battery guidon to 1st Lt. Jessi Wieck during a Change of Command ceremony at Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, April 12, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps/Gunnery Sgt. T. T. Parish)
U.S. Marine Corps recruits with Platoon 4030, Papa Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion, perform rifle manual marching movements during an initial drill evaluation June 25, 2018, on Parris Island, S.C. (U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Dana Beesley)
It’s been well over a year since the Pentagon announced its historic decision to open up all combat jobs in the military to women, but Congress is still dithering over whether women should register for the draft.
In the spring of 2004, I met a Marine while I was at the gym at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. We decided to grab breakfast together. We were both young captains and we split the tab. Fast forward almost 13 years, that same Marine still eats breakfast with me. It’s only a gesture now, but we still take turns paying.
2016 promises to be a year of demographic revolution in the military on par with the racial desegregation of troops in 1948. But making a change as enormous as introducing women to combat jobs isn’t like flicking a switch. Even after President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981, integrating the armed forces on paper, it took decades to deal with issues like equal housing, promotions, and so on.