Small Wars Journal

Marine Corps

U.S. Marine Corps to Assign Women to Ground Combat Element Units

All Marine Message (ALMAR) 012/12 announces the "Assignment of Women to Ground Combat Units." In addition to the below excerpt, there are portions of the ALMAR on other exploration to be done at entry-level training and steps to allow volunteer females to attend the Infantry Officers Course and Infantry Training Battalion before primary MOS training.  NY Times also ran a story on this today. (ALMARs are published in all capitals in case the teletype machine makes a comeback and I don't have time to retype in normal case!)

 

CURRENT GROUND ASSIGMENT POLICIES RESTRICT THE ASSIGNMENT OF WOMEN SERVING IN AN OPEN PRIMARY MOS (PMOS) TO CERTAIN UNITS IN THE GROUND COMBAT ELEMENT (GCE).  THE EXCEPTION TO POLICY WILL ALLOW US TO BEGIN ASSIGNING ACTIVE DUTY, UNRESTRICTED, FEMALE COMPANY GRADE OFFICERS, GUNNERY SERGEANTS, AND STAFF SERGEANTS IN THEIR CURRENT PMOS' TO ARTILLERY, TANK, ASSAULT AMPHIBIAN, COMBAT ENGINEER, COMBAT ASSAULT, AND LOW ALTITUDE AIR DEFENSE BATTALION STAFFS IN ORDER TO FACILITATE OUR RESEARCH EFFORT.  FEMALE MARINES POSSESSING AN ADMINISTRATION, LOGISTICS, COMMUNICATIONS, SUPPLY, OR MOTOR TRANSPORT MOS MAY BE ASSIGNED TO THE ABOVE UNITS AS PART OF THE NORMAL ASSIGNMENT PROCESS DURING CALENDAR YEAR 2012.  FEMALE NAVY MEDICAL OFFICERS, CHAPLAINS, AND CORPSMEN (E-6 AND E-7) MAY ALSO BE ASSIGNED TO THESE BATTALIONS.  FEMALE MARINES AND SAILORS WILL BE ASSIGNED TO BATTALION STAFFS IN THEIR PMOS.  THE DEPUTY COMMANDANT FOR MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS WILL DIRECT AND MONITOR ALL ASSIGNMENTS UNDER THIS EXCEPTION TO POLICY.

 

Marine Corps Gazette Blog Post: The SS, Special Snowflakes, and Supervision

At the Marine Corps Gazette blog, Brett Friedman draws attention to the deeper malaise behind the recent string of black-eyes for the Marine Corps:

[Recent articles] and these tragic events that have come to light lately prove that we no longer know how to supervise, lead, and maintain discipline. We’re supervising the wrong things. Unfortunately, there’s no real way to retrain the Marine Corps to fix our supervision problem. It’s a direct result of our culture. Our culture has brought us to the point where we all bear responsibility for these events. Every one of us. Every NCO who is more concerned with knocking out a checklist than mentoring his young Marines. Every SNCO who spends time searching out uniform regulation infractions. Every officer more concerned with paperwork and formats than setting an example. Every Marine, of any rank, who has told a subordinate to “shut up and color” when he or she pointed out that something was wrong. Our acquiescence to a culture of corrosive leadership has created this problem. We allowed leadership to be conflated with the creation and rote memorization of irrelevant regulations. We stopped mentoring and started poor parenting. We allowed bureaucratization to drown professionalism. We fostered a belief that we are special snowflakes who need rules, but not morality. We hazed Lance Corporal Lew. We desecrated human bodies. We posed in front of Nazi symbology. It's our fault that the Commandant has had to publicly apologizefor a problem that our poor leadership caused. 

Nothing Like a Good Maritime Raid

 

As the services work to figure out the shape of their future, many in the Navy and Marine Corps are inching together to "create synergies" (like a boss... on a boat).  Benjamin Armstrong writes about the virtues of maritime raiding in the February volume of Proceedings:

The Navy/Marine Corps team has a long and storied past, operating together in everything from ship versus ship combat in the Age of Sail to the mastery of small wars and the amphibious warfare that has become its staple over the past half century. Operationally, many of the successful missions conducted by the Navy/Marine Corps team have involved maritime raiding.

As the Navy welcomes the Marine Corps’ return to the sea in the 21st century following a decade of war ashore, the modern redevelopment of the historic maritime raiding capability is just as vital to the future of the Sea Services as sharpening the dulled skills needed for a full amphibious assault.