Small Steps for Female Marines in Infantry Training & Gender-Neutral Physical Training

“They (Women Marines) don’t have a nickname, and they don’t need one.

They get their basic training in a Marine atmosphere, at a Marine Post.

They inherit the traditions of the Marines. They are Marines.”

LtGen Thomas Holcomb, USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps, 1943

Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

Source: Paula Bronstein / Getty Images Sgt. Sheena Adams, 25, US Marine with the FET 1st Battalion 8th Marines, Regimental Combat team II blows bubbles with Afghan boys surrounding her while on patrol on Nov. 21 in Musa Qala, Afghanistan

After a year-long study and a lifted ban on combat jobs for women in February, the first group of female marines will prepare to partake in the officer infantry training that was once male-only marine training for combat. This new initiative will allow women to train as do their male counterparts and later be assigned to infantry battalions to further evaluate how well women perform in their job. Lance Cpl. Chelsea Flowers writes in a blog post on the Marines Official blog, “This recent change takes the issue one step further for females Marines.” Not only will female marines be allowed to undergo the strenuous infantry training, but the United States Marine Corp looks to equalize the physical training for females as well by implementing a gender-neutral test. This means that women will be qualified against their male counterparts in the marine corp physical training test. Marine Corps looks to train female marines to keep up with their male brothers. The blog goes on to mention this move as “controversial”, being that the original role of women in the marines did not include direct contact with combat. However, the Marine Corps will continue to evaluate the position of women in infantry battalions for a while till they are sure women can become a successful integral parts in battle.

If you are interested in reading the blog post, please visit the Marine Corps official blog site.

Semper Fidel~ For You Cpl. Rick Bello

Source: Marine TV- Youtube Channel
First Lieutenant Quincy Washa, platoon commander for the Female Engagement Team with Regimental Combat Team 1, speaks about the challenges, triumphs, and goals for her team in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The FET comprises female Marines from California-based units, and travels throughout the province to interact with Afghan men, women, and children. These Marines are responsible for gathering information related to security, development, and governance for their assigned area, while respecting Afghan cultural norms. The FET attaches to an infantry unit, and works as a go-between for male Marines and the local female population. Washa’s team deployed in September, and is scheduled to stay through early next year.