Female Marines Volunteer for ‘Historic’ Combat Training

May 23, 2014

The military is studying how women stand up to training that was previously only open to men.
Credit Expert Infantry / Creative Commons

Women are still excluded from certain areas of military service, but the Department of Defense has given branches until 2016 to eliminate "unnecessary gender-based barriers to service". Now, bases are evaluating how women fare during training that was reserved for men.

Camp Lejeune is studying enlisted female Marines who have passed their first 29 days of general training and volunteer for another 30 days of specialized training. At the end of it, their male peers can become machine gunners and missile men.

Captain Geraldine Carey said the women still can't actually serve in these areas, so female program usually take administrative jobs. As part of the study, they asked female volunteers why they signed up.

“The majority of our answers are usually, they want to participate in something historical, and they want to just gather the information that they can, because they more training that they have, the better off they'll be,” Carey said.

“You may be a logistician, but you may find yourself on a battlefield, whether it's in a convoy or your base comes under attack. So the more information that they have, the better off they'll be. And the better off they'll be to be able to maintain what is expects of them throughout their enlistment.”

Carey says 85 women have graduated from specialized training since the study began in September.