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First Female Marine requests transfer to join infantry

Integrated Task Force Marine Corps female Marine
Sgt. Radmila M. Allen, a member of the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Alicia R. Leaders/Released)

Of all the 233 Marines who have completed training for combat jobs, only one has applied to be in the infantry to date.

According to the Marine Corps Times, an unnamed Lance Corporal has applied for a lateral transfer to the USMC’s infantry branch.

“Since this recent request is still being processed, that’s all the information we can offer at the moment,” Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Philip Kulczewski told the Times. “These requests take time, and to help put things in perspective, lateral-move processes involve counseling, reviewing physical readiness, completing resident Professional Military Education, individual performance, (competitiveness) in MOS and ultimately [the] needs of the Marine Corps.”

According to Kulczewski, the current process ensures that the Marine Corps will be able to staff combat arms units without compromising the standards currently upheld in aforementioned occupational specialties.

Commandant General Robert Neller, who previously expressed his concern on gender integration has ordered the Marine Corps Combat Development Program to prepare for a possible increase in women heading to recruit training for combat jobs.

The US Marine Corps is expected to send out mobile training teams in May and June to Marine combat arms units in order to explain the gender integration plan.

Kulczewski insists that the teams will not be there to instruct Marines on “sensitivity training” and that, “the focus will be on the details of the implementation plan and how it affects all Marines’ best practices.”

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, supporter of Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s final decision on gender integration, insists that women will have to meet the same standards as men in order to qualify for combat jobs.

“I will never lower standards,” the politician said Tuesday at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. “Let me repeat that: Standards will not be lowered for any group! Standards may be changed as circumstances in the world change but they’ll be changed for everybody.”

Female infantry poolees will be heading out to training in October, while all other combat arms poolees will be heading to training in June.

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