Marines form an experimental combat unit with women

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Marines form an experimental combat unit with women
Sergeant Christina Scott, a Female Engagement Team member in direct support of 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, comforts an Afghan baby while visiting the small town of Kightewahn in the Kajaki District, March 14, 2012. Scott, from Lawrenceville, Ga., is on her fourth deployment, her first as a FET member. Photo by Sgt. James Mercure

The Marines are making an experimental combat unit that will have at least 25 percent women. They plan to test how they handle combat roles and will allow women to have a greater chance to show off their skills. The experimental unit will be at Camp Lejeune, and will include both men and women.

The experimental combat unit will reveal how women will be able to work with men in the important setting, according to the Jacksonville Daily News. The integration will be tested for a year at Camp Lejeune, and officials plan to start it this summer after selecting volunteers. The official name of the unit will be the Ground Combat Element Experimental Task Force.

The unit will have 460 Marines with 25 percent of them being women, and they will work together closely with men. Details about the experiment are still being limited, but combat roles will be an important part of it. However, the Marines have confirmed that it will be similar to a battalion landing team and will have similar high standards.

The Marines are assuring the public that women will have to qualify for the unit by finishing the right training at a different base. They also promise that standards will not be changed to accommodate women because the Marines do not want to lower or change them. Men who will be part of the experimental unit will also meet the same standards.

Women in combat roles continue to be a controversial topic in the United States military, but the Marines are going forward with their experiments. The unit will give them valuable information about how integration of women will work. However, the unit is not the only idea that is being tested, and the Marines are opening up specialties to women. The results of all of these experiments will be carefully monitored to see women’s performances and compare them to others.

Questions about women in combat tend to focus on how they will handle the work and how it will compare to men. Despite great strides being made in gender equality, women are still barred from certain positions in the military and cannot enter them. There has been an effort to open more roles for them with combat positions as one option. Women in the military are embracing the greater possibilities and believe it can lead to greater career opportunities for them.

 

 

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