Posted by Curt on 7 January, 2016 at 10:11 am. 17 comments already!


Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has given Marine Corps brass two weeks to submit a plan to train male and female recruits together at boot camp and fully integrate officer candidate school.

He’s also calling for the Marines to make all job titles gender-neutral as the service opens currently closed ground combat jobs to women.

In a Jan. 1 memo obtained by and first reported by Marine Corps Times, Mabus ordered the Corps to send him a detailed plan by Jan. 15 for making boot camp and officer training coed. He also requested that the Marines provide him with a “subject matter expert” on the issue. The plan should identify where training is already integrated by gender, where it is separate, and how the Marines will work to fully integrate all training, Mabus said.

“Colocation does not meet the requirement for gender integrated training,” Mabus wrote. “This plan will complete [the Department of the Navy’s] implementation plan and ensure full integration of female sailors and Marines within the DON in accordance with [Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s] guidance.”

A Marine Corps spokesman, Capt. Philip Kulczewski, confirmed that the Corps had received the memo but offered no further comment.

Mabus also included a memo for Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller requesting that he review Marine Corps job titles and remove “man” from applicable job titles to make them “gender-integrated.” This means military occupational specialties ranging from 0311, infantryman, to 0321, reconnaissance man, could soon get new names. Mabus demanded this be done and a report submitted to him no later than April 1, 2016, the services’ final deadline for opening all jobs to women.

The Navy Secretary also sounded a warning note to Neller about a list of “critical information requirements” the Corps included in the integration plan submitted to Carter this month.

That list of developments to be monitored closely include:

–Indications of decreased combat readiness or effectiveness;

–Indications of increased risk to Marines in previously closed units, including incidents of sexual assault and harassment, and hazing;

–Indications of a lack of career viability for female Marines in newly opened ground combat jobs;

–Indications that Marine commands and culture is unreceptive to the inclusion of women in ground combat units; and

–Indications that moral or cohesion is degrading in newly opened units.

None of those potential problems should serve to hinder the rollout of the new integration policy, Mabus said.

“As the Marine Corps adds elements such as the leadership plan that includes the goals of female leadership teams, cohesive cohorts, and mentors, I expect you will ensure that a worthwhile goal does not unreasonably delay or prevent the execution of a policy imperative,” he wrote.

The strongly worded admonition underscores tensions between the Marine Corps and Mabus’ office over the issue of women in combat jobs.

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