- Al Gore’s climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- Army’s 3-D printed bombs will create ‘a whole new universe’ of deadly capabilities
- Hamas calls on Hezbollah to join in fight against Israel
- Senators to FIFA, others: Don’t reward Putin with the World Cup in 2018
- U.S. condemns Israeli shelling of shelter in Gaza
- Obamacare shoots premiums up by 88 percent in California
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Obama to Republicans: ‘Stop just hatin’ all the time’
- U.S. chemical sites vulnerable despite millions spent on security: Congress
- Driverless cars to hit the British streets by 2015
2 women take first steps to front line
Long road awaits Marine volunteers
Question of the Day
She won’t head into ground combat as an infantry Marine anytime soon, but she is heading into the Corps’ all-male infantry training school this March, the first of two to do so since the Pentagon last week lifted its ban on women in combat roles.
“The reason I’m doing it is because I don’t want to look back and wonder what if I hadn’t done it,” the volunteer, a 28-year-old second lieutenant, told The Washington Times. She asked not be identified to avoid undue publicity.
The Marine Corps wants to test about 90 female volunteers in the course at Quantico, Va., and use their performances to inform decision-makers on allowing women into the program and the infantry, Marine officials said.
“And I’ve never been one to pass up an opportunity,” said the volunteer, a 2011 Naval Academy graduate.
The two volunteers are the third and fourth women to sign up for the course since September, when the Corps began accepting female Marines for research on performance standards. The first two did not complete the course. One washed out on the first day, as did 26 of the 107 men, and the other dropped out two weeks later for medical reasons, a Marine spokesman said.
The Pentagon’s new policy opens 237,000 jobs that had been closed to women.
Marine officials said they will gradually implement the policy using a two-pronged approach — one for open jobs in previously closed units, the other for previously closed jobs.
The Corps last year began allowing women to serve in some closed units on a trial basis, and 55 female officers and noncommissioned officers were permitted to work in 19 battalions. As a result of the decision announced last week, those numbers will be expanded.
For the other closed units, including infantry, the Corps will develop a plan to begin assigning female officers and noncommissioned officers in already open jobs.
The more difficult effort will be opening 28 previously closed jobs, a senior Marine official said.
The Corps will identify the physical requirements for those jobs, then test 800 male and female Marines this summer. Afterward, Marine officials will correlate those test scores to their physical and combat fitness test scores in order to devise a test recruiters can use to assign recruits to new combat jobs.
“We have 335 [jobs] in the Marine Corps. We’re going through as part of our very measured, deliberate and responsible process of evaluating and validating all of the thousands of tasks in all of those 335 [jobs] and schools,” a Marine official said.
The Infantry Officer Course’s gender-neutral standards have been reviewed and validated, and will not be raised or lowered, the official said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Kristina Wong is a national security reporter for The Washington Times, covering defense, foreign policy and intelligence affairs. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Despite Pentagon cuts and eye on Pacific, Air Force implored to save the 'Warthog'
- Rep. Hunter to Pentagon: Don't lower combat standards for women
- Pentagon welcomes budget deal but says more defense spending needed
- Hagel renews Qatar defense pact despite differences over Iran, Syria
- Scientists raise alarm over plan to destroy Syria's chemical weapons at sea
TWT Video Picks
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- HURT: Impeaching Obama is a losing strategy for the GOP
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- Senate overcomes first filibuster of Obama's border-spending bill
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world