Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said Wednesday the service is ready to issue its recommendations if GOP President-elect Trump wants to re-examine opening all combat roles to women.
“If we’re asked what our best military advice is on that, we’ll make that known at that time,” Neller said Wednesday at a U.S. Naval Institute defense forum, Stars and Stripes reports.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter opened all combat roles to women in December, 2015, refusing to allow any requested Marine Corps exemptions to keep some positions male-only. Since then, there have been numerous clashes between Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and the Marine Corps over the frantic pace of integration, as the Obama administration wanted to make sure that the military is irreversibly reformed along progressive lines before its time is up.
While Trump hasn’t explicitly made any pronouncements on his exact response to the Obama administration’s social engineering policies in the military, he has bashed the present level of political correctness and pledged to leave the decisions up to the generals.
“We have a politically correct military, and it’s getting more politically correct everyday, and a lot of the great people I see in this room don’t even understand how you can do that, and that’s through intelligence, not ignorance,” Trump said at a Retired American Warriors PAC event in early October.
“We’d get our military people to come back and make recommendations to me, and I would follow those recommendations,” he added.
Leaving the decision up to the generals is threatening, according to retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Kate Germano, because the Marine Corps, out of all the other services, is distinctly unhappy with the decision to open all combat roles to women. And now that Trump has tapped Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis (Ret.) for secretary of defense, Germano is afraid there will be a possibly unfavorable review. “What we fear is they are going to roll back some of the initiatives that have leveled the playing field and extended career opportunities,” Germano said.
During the Obama administration’s push to open all combat roles, then-Marine Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford asked for some exemptions in infantry, artillery and tank positions — a request that was completely ignored. Dunford, who now serves as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did not attend Carter’s announcement in December regarding combat roles.
Still, Neller confirmed that until he hears otherwise, the Marine Corps will move forward with the order to integrate women into combat roles.
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