Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, has now ordered the Marine Corps to immediately submit a written plan that details how the Corps will integrate females into what is now male boot camp training. In addition, the Corps must also detail how it will fully integrate its officer candidate school.
This news was announced in a January 1st memo that was reported by the Marine Corps Times. In the memo, Mabus ordered the Corps to submit to him by Jan. 15 a detailed plan for making Marine boot camp (as well as officer training) coed. Mabus also wants the Corps to provide to him a “subject matter expert” on the issue. The new training plan will need to identify where training is already integrated by gender, where it is separate, and how the Corps will begin fully integrating all training.
“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.”
In addition, another memo was sent out by Mabus to Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller. In this memo, Mabus requested that the Commandant review all Marine Corps job titles and that he remove the word “man” to make job titles “gender-integrated.” Military occupational specialties from infantryman to reconnaissance man will most likely have new gender-free names. Secy. Mabus has demanded this task be completed and a report submitted to his office not later than April 1, 2016. This date is also the armed services’ final deadline for opening all military jobs to females.
It is no secret that there is tension between the Corps and the office of the Navy Secretary. The Corps was the only service to request certain exemptions be allowed for some combat job fields to remain closed to females. Secy. Mabus has since criticized the Corps, publicly and repeatedly, saying that he will not consider any job exemptions and that the Corps’ study on this issue was flawed from the beginning.
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