USMC: Gender Neutral Job Titles, and Co-Ed Boot Camp

first published on January 8, 2016 by

In a memorandum from the Sec Nav, the Marine Corps has been ordered to establish gender neutral job titles, and co-ed boot camp, in a very short time-frame

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, has provided guidance to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, that all job titles will become gender-neutral by April 1st 2016. He has also stated in a separate memorandum on the same day, that all Marines will go through a new co-ed boot camp, stating that simply having Marines training on the same grounds won’t cut it.

Boot Camp Girls

In the first memorandum, sent to the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) by the Secretary of the Navy (Sec Nav), he says that he recognizes the challenges presented by the integration of women into all military occupational specialties. He then highlights each challenge the Marine Corps has presented to him, and tells the CMC that he has faith the leadership will figure it out on the fly as the problems occur.

Attached at the bottom of this memorandum is one paragraph. It simply states that the Marine Corps will make all job titles gender-neutral, in order to show that women are now accepted in these occupations. In a letter submitted anonymously to the Marine Corps Times a point was made clear that this would not change iconic titles like “infantryman,” “rifleman” or “midshipman,” but this has not been stated by Mabus himself.

This change is expected to be ready, and take place, no later than April 1st 2016.

Boot Camp Boys

In the second memorandum, sent to the CMC from the Sec Nav on the same day, the Sec Nav addresses integrating recruit training. For the longest time, the Marine Corps has been the only branch to segregate males and females during the recruit training process. They have stated, and proved on many occasions that the segregation allows women intense mentoring between female drill instructors and the women in their charge, better preparing them for situations they may encounter in the operating forces.

The Marine Corps has been given a dead-line of January 15th to complete the planning, and restructuring of their entire enlisted recruit training process. This plan is also expected to be in place by April 1st, 2016.

Sec Nav Boot Camp

Author’s Opinion

While I believe it is fully possible to integrate recruit training, the Sec Nav has once again over-stepped his boundaries. The Marine Corps is a beast of an institution, and large changes like this require time. Time that has been not provided to the institution from the Department of the Navy. In order for this move to work (and it can work), the Sec Nav will have to give the Marine Corps more time to restructure recruit training.

Recruit training, or Boot Camp, is one of the biggest parts of becoming a Marine. In other services, you attend Basic Training, and you are considered a part of the force you enlisted in from day one. In the Marine Corps, you are not a Marine until you have completed the Crucible, and earned the Eagle Globe and Anchor. Maintaining the integrity of this intense training process is what makes Marines, Marines. They will need more time to restructure the recruit training process in order to maintain the integrity of this environment.

On the perspective of gender-neutral MOS titles, I personally could care less, so long as the iconic titles are not changed. I see no reason to change titles such as “Infantryman,” or “Rifleman” if the US Naval Academy did not have to change the term “Midshipman” when they integrated women into that process.

Carry out the plan of the day Marines. Semper Fidelis.

About the Author: Josh (writer at Funker530) is an 8 year veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He conducted 4 deployments as an Infantry Machine Gunner, holding billets from Machine Gun Ammo-Bearer to Line Company Weapons Platoon Sergeant. He conducted combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (08), Operation Enduring Freedom (09/10/11), and the 24th MEU (12). He exited service as a Sergeant with awards including: The Purple Heart, Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat V, and the Combat Action Ribbon.


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