The Marine Corps stepped up to be the first
to allow women try out for infantry positions last year well ahead of the other
branches. The Marine Corps recommended to Washington that it’s not a good idea.
Today, the Marine Corps made it official that women may be in some combat roles
and it also said some wont.


"We can't afford to lower
standards," he said. "We can't make adjustments on what's required on
the battlefield.


Time for a C-Gar

WASHINGTON — In his first interview since the Pentagon opened ground
combat jobs to women, the commandant of the Marine Corps said some
occupations may ultimately remain closed if only a small number qualify.

The Marines will not lower physical standards for certain
specialties, Gen. James Amos told USA TODAY. "We can't afford to lower
standards," he said. "We can't make adjustments on what's required on
the battlefield.

"That's not why America has a Marine Corps," he said.

The Marine Corps, like the Army, is reviewing the physical and other
standards required for direct combat fields that had previously been
closed to female servicemembers.

MORE: Pentagon makes women in combat rule change official

Pentagon last week ordered that the services provide the opportunity
for women to enter all fields, including infantry, tanks, artillery and
other combat arms.

The entire process could take years as
the services develop and validate "gender neutral" standards. The
secretary of Defense would have to approve any fields that remain closed
to women.

"If the numbers are so small with regards to
qualification, then there very may well be (job fields) that remain
closed," Amos said. "Those will be few and far between."

Deploying only one or two female servicemembers in a unit, for example,
would make it difficult for the women to succeed. "You want to have
assimilation … so our females can mentor one another," Amos said.

Each of the previously closed fields will likely have its own set of requirements.

Some are easily quantifiable. For example, men and women wanting to
serve on a tank crew would need to be able to lift a tank round, which
weighs more than 40 pounds, and load it into the main gun. Other
standards may be more difficult to quantify.

Amos said he is
confident that the Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course (IOC), a
mentally and physically grueling 13-week course, is an accurate measure
of what it takes to successfully lead a rifle platoon in combat.

"There's no intention on my part of changing anything within the IOC
curriculum," Amos said. The course has drawn attention because last
year the Marine Corps began admitting women on an experimental basis.

The first two women admitted did not complete the course. Two more
volunteers are expected to begin the course next month.

infantry school for enlisted Marines, however, is being looked at
closely to determine whether the standards are a good measurement of the
physical and mental requirements of a Marine infantryman.

Once the standards and requirements among all specialties are codified
they could then be incorporated into screening tests and specialty
schools. The Marine Corps has more than 30 fields that are currently
closed to women.

"This is not writing standards now in an
effort to exclude females," Amos said. "This is writing and developing
standards that quite frankly should have been developed years ago and
have not been."

Amos said the Marine Corps will ensure that the opportunities are opened up without adjusting requirements.

"We've got too much combat experience for me to even suggest
lowering the standards," Amos said. "So I'm not going to do it."

The Pentagon order will mark a change for all the services, but
particularly for the Marine Corps, a lean expeditionary force that is
organized and built around the infantry. The Marine Corps has the
smallest percentage of women in its ranks.

Amos said the elite service is serious about opening opportunities for women.

"This isn't a subtle way of saying, 'OK, we're going to have
standards and so we're going to exclude our women.' It's actually just
the opposite."

There is broad public support for allowing
women into combat arms jobs, according to a survey conducted by the Pew
Research Center for the People & the Press and The Washington Post. Of those surveyed, 66% supported allowing women into ground combat roles.

One Marine's View Poll taken by you OMV readers say women have no place in the infantry….hmmmmmm


  1. Two thumbs up! Bet the majority all in for women in combat infantry units will be singing another song if their 18 year old daughters are ordered to register with Selective Service. Will that happen? The way this world is turning I would not bet against it.

  2. “We can’t make adjustments on what’s required on the battlefield. That’s not why America has a Marine Corps” Somebody has to say it. Semper Fi.

  3. I am skeptical when the infantry school for enlisted Marines “is being looked at closely to determine whether the standards are a good measurement of physical and mental requirements of Marine infantrymen.” This could mean a couple of things, they are too high for proper “assimilation” or too low and need to be upgraded. Or,if not enough females qualify, then the standards can be tweaked for proper assimilation (more females).

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