The Marine Corps has been ordered to come up with a plan to make its enlisted entry-level training coed, and to make its job titles more gender-neutral following the recent move to open all military combat roles to women.
In a Jan. 1 memo to Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus requested a “detailed plan” on how the service will fully integrate its boot camp and Officer Candidate School. The plan is due Jan. 15 and will be implemented by April 1, the memo states.
“The Department of the Navy’s implementation plan must include gender integration of Marine Corps enlisted recruit training and officer candidate school,” Mabus wrote. “In this submission, identify where, if anywhere, this training is already integrated, where it is separate, and specific steps that you will take to fully integrate these trainings.”
In a second memo from Mabus to Neller on the same day, the SecNav directed the Marine Corps to conduct a full review of its military occupational specialty titles in an effort to ensure that they are gender neutral.
“As we achieve full integration of the force … this is an opportunity to update the position titles and descriptions themselves to demonstrate through this language that women are included in these MOSs,” Mabus wrote. “Please review the position titles throughout the Marine Corps and ensure that they are gender-integrated as well, removing ‘man’ from the titles and provide a report to me as soon as is practicable and no later than April 1, 2016.”
A Navy official said that the service received a similar memo pertaining to its MOS titles and descriptions. Mabus doesn’t intend to require iconic titles like “infantryman,” “rifleman” or “midshipman” to be changed, however, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“The idea is not to go in there and change the name when ‘man’ is incorporated as part of the term,” the official said. “… But when the word ‘man’ appears as a separate word … they want that name to be changed.”
Examples of some of those titles in the Marine Corps include reconnaissance man, fire support man and field artillery sensor support man. In those cases, the official said it’s possible the “man” could just be dropped from the names.
Marine officials have confirmed receipt of both letters.
Lt. Col. Eric Dent, Neller’s spokesman, said the Marine Corps is “working diligently to meet the intent of the Secretary of Defense’s policy.” The Marine Corps delivered its implementation plan to Mabus and Defense Secretary Ash Carter last month, Dent added, and it’s now being reviewed by a Defense Department working group…