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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami/AP) — The U.S. Marine Corps are looking at plans to let women attend a historically male-only combat training as they work to combat the recurring problems with sexism and other behaviors among Marines, Marine Corps officials said.

If approved by senior Marine leaders, the change could happen as soon as next spring. And it could be the first step in a broader campaign to give male Marines who do their initial training on the West Coast the opportunity to work with female colleagues early in their career.

Marine leaders are also considering allowing women to attend boot camp in San Diego, the officials said. Currently all women recruits go through boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., while male recruits go either there or to San Diego. The combat training comes after troops have finished boot camp, and is done both in South Carolina and at Camp Pendleton in Southern California, but women attend the course only on the East Coast.

The officials were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter because final decisions have not been made, so they spoke on condition of anonymity. The boot camp decision is still under discussion.

Marine leaders have come under persistent criticism from members of Congress because the Corps is the only military service to separate men and women for portions of their boot camp. And only the Marine Corps allows half of its recruits to go through initial training without any female colleagues.

Because there are only a small number of female Marines, they all go through boot camp at Parris Island, where they are separated from the men for portions of the training. Congress members have been highly critical of that policy and demanded changes, and the Corps has been reviewing the issue.

Marines have argued that the separation from the men is needed so the women can become more physically competitive before joining their male counterparts. They also have argued that it gives the female Marines the support they need during their early weeks of boot camp. Women make up 8.4 percent of the Marine Corps, and that is the smallest percentage of all the armed services.

But Marine Corps officials are now suggesting that training half of their recruits on the West Coast with no females in their units could be contributing to some of the disciplinary problems they’ve had. Giving the male Marines greater exposure to females during training could foster better relations and greater respect over time, some have suggested.

Over the last several years, Marine leaders have battled persistent accusations that the Corps is hostile to women. The Marines were the only service to formally request an exception when the Pentagon moved to allow women to serve in all combat jobs. That request was denied in late 2015 by then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

More recently, the service was rocked by a nude-photo sharing scandal in which Marines shared sexually explicit photos on various social media and other websites and included crude, derogatory and even violent comments about the women. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is looking into the matter and several Marines have been disciplined.

A Marine task force has been reviewing a range of options and changes for several months to try and reduce the problems.

Months ago, Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine Corps commandant, told Congress that the service has been looking at the recruit training issue. But to date, no major changes have been made.

The nude-photo sharing investigation represents a broader military problem. In a report issued earlier this year, the Pentagon said that nearly 6,200 military members said that sexually explicit photos of them were taken or shared against their will by someone from work, and it made them “uncomfortable, angry or upset.” But, across the services, female Marines made up the largest percentage of women who complained.

More than 22,000 service members said they were upset or angry when someone at work showed or sent them pornography. And, again, female Marines represented the highest percentage of complaints from women.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (51)
  1. Glen Tacey says:

    Keep the women separate! They do not belong in any combat role, period!

    1. Why? If they’re physically capable of carrying the weight, mentally capable of handling the stress, and skilled enough to fire the weapons, why shouldn’t they be allowed to fight?

      As long as they’re as physically/mentally capable as their male counter-parts, I see nothing wrong with allowing women into the danger.

      What we shouldn’t do is allow women to join just for the sake of diversity. What we also shouldn’t do is forbid able-bodies from serving and protecting our nation.

      I find it hard to believe that men who have seen death and destruction and the worst imaginable scenes, can’t handle some vagina/breast/estrogen in their presence. They’re not pre-teens.

      1. Joe Brown says:

        Looks like Trump needs to get the Obama girlie-men out of the Marine Corps leadership.

      2. Dee Stafford says:

        Apparently, you have no experience in training soldiers or Marines in boot camp. Males coming out of integrated male/female training are not maxed out physically because the training has to be reduced to the level of the females. I spent 27 years in the Army and ran a test of joint male/female training and it was a failure. After I left in ’90 the study that was put together convinently disappeared and the integrated training was implemented. This is nothing but social engineering.

      3. because they aren’t…women do not have the speed or strength of men…it’s a biological fact…their muscle groups are incapable of achieving physical equality of men. sorry to make your head explode…..

      4. Thomas Arney says:

        You’ve obviously never been in the military, nor done anything together with females that involves physical strength and endurance – females simply don’t cut it. And the genetic freak female (1 in a 1,000) that could handle it would only be a distraction – if you want the Corps to be it’s best, just don’t do this.

      5. Lann Man says:

        @ rox (@roxsupfan)
        Your argument sounds great and very logical; the problem is that EVERY time that the military has tried to integrate women into combat units, they have had to lower the physical expectations. Here in the real world men and women are not physically equal; in fact many men wash out of training because they are physically unable to meet the established standards. I have no problem with equality in the military but that means preforming equally and so far that has not happened.

    2. Anybody who has been in the military has seen the different standards required for men and women. It’s just the way it is. Men can do 20 pull-ups. Women can do 3. Men can carry 120 pounds. Women can carry 40. So when these Marines go to war the platoon will simply have to carry less overall with women included. So what do they do? Carry less bullets? Less food?
      Because you can find a few Crossfit trained women out of the thousands in the Corp is that a reason to change all the rules?
      Will our Marines be better at killing the enemy with an all male combat force or with two or three women per company? Seriously. You know the answer.

  2. If this happens, the Marine Corps should be disbanded and allowed to die an honorable death. Amazing, no military could beat the Corps, but some liberal, spineless politicians could destroy it with social engineering and political correctness, Just put on the Corps; tombstone, 1775 – 2017.

  3. What could possibly go wrong?

  4. We need 2 re-institute the draft INCLUDING WOMEN then lets see how willing they R.

  5. Stu Pedasso says:

    Only sounds like a good idea if you run out of men who are willing to serve.

  6. Go to YouTube and watch Hitler Youth (2000) and see what’s next for our military (it’s 4 hours long).

  7. The President needs to stop this forthwith, just as he stopped the Tranny infiltration.

  8. If girls were required to complete the same physical tests that guys do not a single one of them could ever pass it.

  9. Aaaah, MCT. I remember ‘simulated combat’, capturing other ‘newly-minted’ Marines – and the couple we stripped and tied to a tree for a day while the ants chewed on him. Good dentists, though, I still have the crown on my tooth, where half was knocked out by being buttstroked with an M60E3, too. Yep, putting a woman into that isn’t going to cause any problems.

  10. Hard to take an article seriously when there grammatical and factual errors. First off, it’s “The Marine Corps IS,” NOT “The Marine Corps ARE.” Second, the combat training is done at Camp Geiger, which is adjacent to Camp Lejeune, NORTH CAROLINA — not South Carolina. Non-infantry Marines do School of Infantry/Marine Combat Training, which is 29 training days. Infantry Marines do School of Infantry/Infantry Training Battalion, which is twice as long, and something many Marines find more difficult than boot camp itself. To talk about the infantry training and not only put it in the wrong state, but not delineate the training differences reflects a basic lack of knowledge/familiarity that even the most unseasoned journalist should have before he or she writes a story.

    1. Thomas Arney says:

      Clearly written by someone with the same comprehension level as Obama – who thinks it’s pronounced “marine corpse” – liberals can’t even get their liberal arts education straight these days (no pun intended).

  11. Absolutely insane. Another example of why Liberalism is a destructive mental disorder.

    One way to gauge if this is a bad idea, is if our enemies think it’s a good idea for us to implement. And you can bet they have NO problem with us doing this!

  12. If a woman wants to be a soldier, I am all for it provided she go through the same training as a male. IF she can compete, I want her on my side.

    1. That’s just great Mike till you get hit in the legs and she has to carry you to the chopper. In addition to that is the personal hygiene issue. I served in an infantry company in Nam. On one operation we went for 38 days in 100 degree heat with no showers or change of uniform. We all carried cans of Right Guard with which to spray our genitals after digging in each evening. I realize your real intent was to suck up to any female who read your comment, but generally suck ups turn them off.

  13. Bob Josephs says:

    I watched the Cross Fit games, and there are women who do it, although by deceased Marine father in law would roll over in his grave

    1. Alt Bart says:

      Idiots. The reason there are issues is that the marine corps is built with healthy young men, trained to be aggressive, with a high esprit de corp. Young men in such situations often are a little crazed. Great for killing the enemy, not so good for civilized behavior. Adding women to the training environment will do nothing except demonstrate at an early point in training that women can’t cut the physical demands. Anybody who has lived into their early adulthood knows that women are physically inferior for combat positions. The pentagon has the quantitative data which has been published. (most women can’t throw a grenade far enough not to get themselves incapacitated). America needs a strong military, women are inferior material for that purpose.

  14. The stupidity of our present age is unreal. One of the goals of Marine Boot Camp training is to instill an “Esprit de Corps” where when you finish training you know you’ve gotten through something tough that not every man can do.

    If your training is such that you’re completing it alongside other women that notion that you’ve done something difficult for any man gets blown out of the water.

  15. So unfortunate, Pres. Trump hasn’t had the time obviously to purge the Obama lunatics from the military. Many men will die because of this idiocy.

  16. It is not the purpose of the military to be a political correctness bullying institution. It’s job is to kill people and break things. Anything detracting from the integrity of that mission must be eliminated. I couldn’t get in after trying several times. I accept that and so will ALL others who can’t meet the requirements.

  17. If the USMC implements this it will be the end of my beloved Corps.

    1. Lann Man says:

      @Joe Mccallion
      Easy there Teufelshund. Trust that your brothers will weed out the non-hackers just as they always have. Marines live forever!

  18. When I played college football, summer camp was tough. We worked after breakfast, lunch and dinner. We became an effective and cohesive team. Then the ladies showed up on campus and compromised that cohesion. I’m sure that same principle would hold true in the military.

  19. Rick Standal says:

    If the military wants to create all female units to deploy in combat then I will applaud. BUT they need to train too a set of totally different standards. Women can not be expected to compete with men on or off the battle field. In the field they will feel more comfortable serving with women.
    I would not be comfortable sharing a fox hole with a 100 lb solider who I felt needed me to get thru a difficult situation, the person crouched next to me has to be able to lend me the same support,

  20. John McElroy says:

    This will be interesting, probably sad, but interesting.

  21. And we can’t discount the natural propensity of men to protect women. In a combat situation, the men will endanger themselves trying to protect the women even if hey don’t need it, compromising the entire mission/team. I’m not being sexist, just realistic. It’s mans nature to protect women.

  22. Abel Garcia says:

    I wonder if the standards will be lowered so women can join the grunts on the front line. If that is the case then I wonder if affirmative action is more important than winning.

  23. It won’t work as long as there is one set of standards for men and another for women. And, no, the answer is not to lower standards across the board till women can meet them.

  24. This ought to be a hoot. Female officers can’t pass the Basic Course at Quantico and now the enlisted women are going to 0311 training?
    ex-SSG Infantry

  25. “…Corps is hostile to women. ” Of course. Because females are NOT males. Females were not needed to win world War II,, were they? Our military is not one iota better b/c females hv been allowed in. Females are NOT males. Putting them in male uniforms does not make them a male… They have their place…and it is NOT in male groups.

  26. Ethel Weiss says:

    Women Marines (BAMs) should only work in the mess halls and behind typewriters which the Corps undoubtedly still uses.

  27. If a female can “hump” a 249 and load out, then by all means, but no special exceptions, last I checked, these are fighting units…..

  28. BAN ALL WOMEN FROM MALE-ONLY UNITS & SCHOOLS (Ranger School/Ranger Regiment, SEALS, etc.)
    This is rooted in Marxist Feminist ideology. The only way these policies will stop is if moral men gather themselves, gird up their loins and say NO!
    Have the men been performing so poorly that they are desperate for women to pick up the slack in Spec-Ops units?
    What if a woman is unknowingly pregnant and on the front lines of combat? Is it immoral to expose a non-combatant (the unborn) to combat (knowingly or unknowingly)? Yes, men and women have sex on combat deployments.
    The argument is one of morality not physical ability. Our leaders have lost their moral compass. It is immoral to push for women in combat. Men who push for women in combat are cowards, women who do so are worse.
    Read any article by Jude Eden and the stats will show, women are not designed for combat. Natural design and objective truth are not figments of our imaginations, they are the foundation of our reality. There is no such thing as a social construct when it comes to war. War is Hell!

  29. derekcrane says:

    The first knockout of a female from a pupil stick will put an end to this nonsense.

    1. derekcrane says:

      That’s pugil stick — auto-correct stinks.

  30. Richard Frey says:

    One Burning Question!!!!!………WHY ????????

  31. Standby for lowering of bars, reduction of standards, quotas, safe spaces, trigger warnings, complaints about language and tattoos increased logistical headaches for feminine needs…. Liberals should all burn.

  32. Vox Veritas says:

    Don’t claim that women perform at the same levels as men. Instead, the requirements have been minimized to the levels that women are able to perform.

    The women are sucking wind and the men never break a sweat at the level of the revised ‘powder puff’ standards.

    Consequently, the only empowerment which results is experienced by America’s enemies.

  33. Rick Blaine says:

    Oh, come on people. Women are totally equal to serve in combat under all situations. Just look at all the women in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, and the National Basketball Association!!!! Oh, wait a minute….I need to re-think that.

  34. Lann Man says:

    Personally, I don’t see any problems with this plan as long as the women are expected to perform at the same levels as the men and under the same physical requirements as the men. When Black men were integrated into the military, the standards were not lowered for them and the standards should not be lowered for the women.