Navy Secretary Ray Mabus ordered the Marine Corps to submit a plan by Jan. 15 to make the Marine Corps boot camp gender-neutral and remove the word “man” from job titles.
In a letter dated Jan. 1, Mabus told Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller to construct a plan and make preparations to implement co-ed changes by April 1, Marine Corps Times reported. The order also applies to Officer Candidate School.
“The Department of the Navy’s implementation plan must include gender integration of Marine Corps enlisted recruit training and officer candidate school,” Mabus wrote in the memo. “In this submission, identify where, if anywhere, this training is already integrated, where it is separate, and specific steps that you will take to fully integrate these trainings.”
The Marine Corps is the only service that asked for an exemption to keep some combat roles male-only. Mabus argued against the request and Defense Secretary Ash Carter ultimately made the decision to ignore it completely, saying he wanted to keep standards consistent across all services.
Also included in the memo is a reminder that standards for each and every job title need to change in time for the deadline.
“Please review the position titles throughout the Marine Corps and ensure that they are gender-integrated as well, removing ‘man’ from the titles and provide a report to me as soon as is practicable and no later than April 1, 2016.”
Mabus emphasized that the language of the job descriptions have to be changed to make them more inclusive.
One anonymous Navy official clarified Mabus’ order, and told the Marine Corps Times that anytime the word “man” is not a compound word in the title — such as “infantryman” or “rifleman”– it will have to be changed. This means a term like “reconnaissance man” should just have the “man” part slashed off.
There is no indication that any of these policies will be reversed, though GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson said earlier this week that he is open to reconsidering the integration of women in combat roles if he wins the White House.
“You make decisions based on evidence and not on ideology, so yes I would be willing to sit down with people from both sides and examine the evidence. And make decisions based on what the evidence shows,” Carson said, according to Politico.
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