Battle Rattle

Marine Corps seeks volunteers for co-ed ground combat element

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Women with Delta Company participate in patrol exercises last fall at Infantry Training Battalion aboard Camp Geiger, N.C. The Corps is now seeking volunteers for its next stage in its experiment to put women in combat roles to start in June. (James K. Sanborn/Staff)

Women with Delta Company participate in patrol exercises last fall at Infantry Training Battalion aboard Camp Geiger, N.C. The Corps is now seeking volunteers for its next stage in its experiment to put women in combat roles to start in June. (James K. Sanborn/Staff)

Corps officials will be soliciting Marines to volunteer for the latest step in testing the integration of women in combat arms positions across 14 duty stations between May 28 and June 9. Here’s are five things Marines should know:

1. The Corps is looking for about 500 volunteers — women and men — to serve as the ground combat element of an integrated task force that will be stood up at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in June.

2. Marines interested in volunteering can do so three ways: on the Corps’ Manpower and Reserve Affairs website; by calling (703) 432-2513; or in-person at one of the recruiting briefs. Locations and dates for those briefs are as follows:

  • Camp Hansen, Japan – May 28
  • Camp Foster, Japan – May 29
  • Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Japan – May 30
  • Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan – June 2
  • Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia and the Washington-region  – June 2-6
  • Camp Lejeune, North Carolina – June 2-3
  • Camp Pendleton, California – June 2-3
  • Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina – June 4
  • Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California – June 4
  • Marine Corps Base Hawaii – June 4-5
  • Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina – June 5
  • Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California – June 5-6
  • Camp Smith, Hawaii – June 6
  • Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona – June 9

3. The Marines be split into four squads as they conduct a mock pre-deployment workup under close scrutiny. One squad will be made up of all women, one all men, one split 50/50 and the last with female Marines in the vast minority. Marine leaders and college researchers will closely assess their performance over a six to eight month period.

4. Male volunteers will work within their primary military occupation specialties during the experiment. Women selected to serve in combat arms positions — including rifleman, machine gunner or mortarman — will have to go to MOS school.

5. The Corps is looking for sergeants or below with less than nine years in-service. Those looking to fill combat arms MOSs must have at least a third class score on the male version of the physical fitness test. The full list of eligibility requirements can be found in Marine administrative message 252/14, dated May 22.

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