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USMC could start co-ed boot camp as early as next year, new Commandant says

Recruits with Hotel Company, 2nd Recruit Training Batallion, are evaluated during their Final Drill evaluation at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., Apr 16, 2019. The strict nature of close-order drill reinforces discipline and fosters unit cohesion. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl Daniel O’Sullivan/Released)

Marine boot camp could be co-ed as early as next year, according to the general who has been nominated to take over command of the USMC.

Lieutenant General David Berger -who is slated to become the next Commandant of the Marine Corps- told the US Senate that he is open to ending the long tradition of separate boot camps for men and women.

“I talked to the commandant this morning about it and…I said, ‘We have to look at this for perhaps next year,’ and he said, ‘Absolutely,'” Berger said. “I think it’s a discussion that he and I will have.”

While male and female Marine officer candidates train together, enlisted personnel have always been separated by gender, with many claiming the practice ensures that recruits aren’t distracted.

According to Military.com, Marine Corps Training and Education Command Jessica Hanley said there are no coed-classes scheduled for 2019, but that it could happen in the future.

One co-ed training unit -known as India Company- was set up in recent memory as a testbed, with mixed results.

“The statistics …for this company were the same as every other company -a few areas higher, a few areas lower- but it went great,” Berger said.

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