Currently, women in the United States Marines aren’t assigned to roles where they’re likely to engage in direct combat. However, that could soon change.
Marine General James Amos issued an ALMAR (a memo that goes out to all Marines) this week, detailing the ways he would “review” opportunities for women to serve in Ground Combat.
Here are some highlights from the memo:
The government will allow women to serve in units they have been barred from:
“Current ground assignment policies restrict the assignment of women serving in an Open Primary Mos (PMOS) to certain units in the Ground Combat Element (GCE). The exception to policy will allow us to begin assigning [female officers to these units.]”
They’ll also consider what other roles should be opened up to women:
“The Secretary of Defense provided further guidance in February 2012 to the services to assess the impact of newly opened positions in previously closed units and to continue evaluating additional positions that may be opened to our female Marines across the Corps.”
The General adds that at the end of this experiment:
“I will consider the results and impact of the exception to the ground assignment policy, the quantitative research, and the total force survey as we make future recommendations regarding the potential assignment of women to ground combat element units.”
Though women will be working with combat units, they’ll be serving in support roles like communications and logistics for the time being. Given the U.S. military’s slow speed when it comes to progress – let’s not forget you couldn’t be serve and openly gay until last year – we probably shouldn’t expect women to be on the Marines’ front lines any time soon. That said, it’s a step in the right direction.
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I think women would be awesome at front line combat—after all, it’s most likely going to be volunteer and only women who are strong enough physically and mentally are going to volunteer. The issue here is humanity’s (specifically man’s) overwhelming need to save women from gruesome death. The men in the unit will need to be able to separate their deep evolutionary instinct to protect the opposite sex from what is reasonable action (in other words, “Would I be doing this action if this person was a male?”). That’s hard stuff.
- justineh4 Marines Could Send Women Into Ground ... and thinks it’s Win & OMG
- Alicia K. thinks Marines Could Send Women Into Ground ... is Fail