Three Women Join the USMC Infantry

 In Military

The first 3 women to be granted an infantry MOS joined the grunts of the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines out of Camp LeJeune on Thursday. The three will be a rifleman, machine gunner, and mortarman.  Their names were withheld by the Corps. All graduated from the USMC Infantry School.

Female grunts coming to the line

In preparation for the arrival of the three women, the Corps “incorporated” a “small leadership cadre” of senior Marine females in support capacities, to give the unit some time to adjust to women in its ranks.

“That leadership consists of a logistics officer, motor transportation officer, and a wire chief. They will have been in place for at least 90 days prior to the first female infantry Marines arriving to the unit. This process ensures the Marine Corps will adhere to its standards and will continue its emphasis on combat readiness.” 1st Lt. John McCombs, 2nd Marine Div. spokesman

During a test period, 240 females graduated from the Marine Corps Infantry School. At the time, that did not grant them an Infantry MOS. That restriction is now lifted, and a lateral transfer to serve in the infantry is available.

The first group of female Infantry enlistees is set to graduate in January.

Concern in the ranks

Marine General Joseph Dunford, prior to his becoming the head of the Joint Chiefs, asked for an exemption to opening the USMC combat positions to women.

The current Marine Commandant, General Robert Neller, noted that women have served in combat for years. As of June 2016, the Marine Corps had seven female officers either in combat posts or waiting in line to serve, and 167 women with noncombat jobs in front-line units, according to Military.Com.

usmc infantry

USMC photo via Military.com

Issues arise

Women have been both wounded and killed in front line positions throughout history, and it had nothing to do with an MOS on paper. They make up about 15% of the US Military. But there are other issues that the social experimenters seem to overlook.

A Marine Corps study from 2015, that was totally ignored by the way, suggested that the effectiveness of ground units was compromised by the presence of women.

Some women are most definitely tough enough for front line combat. Not everything is a glorious “struggle for equality,” however. There are physical and social issues that can be a problem:

“According to a study, 33% of women polled experienced rape or attempted rape and up to 84% of women experienced sexual assault or harassment while on active military duty.” Fusion Magazine May 2016

Men and women don’t live in a vacuum, not matter how hard leadership tries to make it happen.

Up close and personal killing

General Mattis, soon to become the Secretary of Defense, has questioned whether women are suited for the “intimate close up killing” that occurs in the infantry.

It is unknown when the female “grunts” will be deployed or where. It’s also unclear whether the incoming Trump Administration will change the rules. Let these young women celebrate their new place among the grunts of USMC at least for now.

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