Think tank: ‘Gender integration’ of Marines’ basic training is a bad idea

by WorldTribune Staff, January 23, 2019

The Marine Corps caved to political correctness when it announced for the first time in history that a platoon of 50 enlisted female recruits would be housed and trained alongside five male platoons, a military watchdog group said.

“Remember, these are very young green recruits. If you introduce gender integration, you distract young people because they are young people, they haven’t been trained yet to be disciplined Marines,” aid Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness.

Marine Corps recruits at Parris Island boot camp. / YouTube

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller announced that the female recruits would be housed and trained alongside five male platoons in the 3rd Training Battalion at the Marines’ Parris Island boot camp in South Carolina.

Donnelly said Neller had caved to the politically correct crowd after the Marines had pushed back when the Obama administration demanded allowing women in front-line combat units.

She contends that any gender integration should come after basic training when a new Marine is in advanced training.

“There’s a lot of indication that when you introduce all kinds of sexual issues into units that are supposed to be concentrated, you see a lot of social problems that detract from the mission,” Donnelly said.

Neller has said he wants to increase the percentage of female Marines from 8.9 percent to 10 percent.

“That quota, unfortunately, signals that the Marines are assigning highest priority to political correctness over mission readiness and combat lethality,” Donnelly said.

“The Trump administration should revoke this and all gender diversity mandates, including the 25 percent quotas that still apply in in the Navy, Army, and Air Force.”

Donnelly noted that “Based on previous Pentagon practices, however, assessments of the gender-mixed battalion likely will center on sociological goals, not the primary military goal: transformation of undisciplined civilians into Marines.”

“Shifting priorities and equivocal rationalizations do not bode well for the Corps,” Donnelly said. “President Trump should nominate a new Secretary of Defense and a new Marine Commandant who will restore candor and sound priorities on this issue and the larger question of whether women should serve in the infantry.”

Donnelly noted that a Marine spokesman told ABC News that boot camp recruit classes typically are much smaller in the winter months. Housing one female platoon with five male ones in the 3rd Training Battalion allows temporary de-activation of the all-female 4th Training Battalion.

“The excuse was lame, at best,” Donnelly said. “The Marines’ Delayed Entry Program (DEP) sends new recruits to boot camp on timetables set by the needs of the service, not the weather. Someone should find out why there aren’t enough female recruits to populate the 4th Training Battalion. Perhaps young women are shunning recruiters because they know that once they sign up, they might be ordered into ground combat units on the same involuntary basis as men.”

Donnelly said that officials “also made the disingenuous claim that the ‘temporary’ change would support ‘training efficiency.’ But within a week, Marine Corps Times reported that the female platoon co-located in the men’s training battalion ‘may not be the last.’ ”

Speaking at a forum in Washington, D.C., Marine Sergeant Major Ronald Green said the service doesn’t “do things as a one-time deal,” adding that the intent is to give everyone “the greatest opportunity for success.”

Donnelly said Green’s comment “failed to recognize that boot camp is not about individual ‘success.’  Its mission is to transform ordinary civilians into disciplined male and female Marines.”

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