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Pentagon committee recommends full gender integration for Marine recruits, policies to protect pregnant troops in annual report on women’s issues

March 15, 2024

Corey Dickstein

Stars and Stripes

Recruits with Lima Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion practice drill formations on the Peatross Parade Deck on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., July 25, 2023. Recruits learn close-order drill as a means of instilling discipline, teamwork and spatial awareness and as a base to execute combat formations. (Casey Cooper/U.S. Marine Corps)

By Corey Dickstein, Stars and Stripes / March 15, 2024

The Marine Corps should train male and female recruits in gender-integrated platoons at both of its recruit depots and the Pentagon should adopt new polices to protect the careers of pregnant troops, a Pentagon panel focused on issues affecting women recommended in a report released Friday.

The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, or DACOWITS, recommended Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin order the Marines to train male and female recruits in platoons together and institute gender-integrated drill instructor teams. Committee members wrote they believe better integrating recruit training efforts would improve male Marines’ acceptance of women in their ranks and better prepare them to serve together in integrated units in the fleet.

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