Military.com reports that the dictates of the god Equality may force the Marine Corps into drastic contortions in order to meet Congressional decrees.
The Marine Corps is considering a plan in which it could close its two existing boot camp locations and funnel all recruits to a new base where men and women would train together.
Marine entry-level training is a long way off from being able to meet a congressional mandate to make its East and West coast training bases both able to support gender-integrated training in the coming years, the Corps’ top general said on Thursday.
That is leading the service to study the option of opening a third training base in a new location to which all new recruits would ship, rather than spending cash on construction projects at aging training bases.
“Nothing, the way we’re organized right now, lends itself to integrated recruit training,” Commandant Gen. David Berger said on Thursday. “If that’s our start point — and it is — we have to get to a place on both coasts, or at third location or whatever we end up with, that … there are male and female recruits around.”
Both the Marine Corps’ recruit training depots have storied pasts — particularly Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in South Carolina, which was first used by Marines in the 1890s. Hundreds of thousands of Marines have stood on the famous yellow footprints on each base at the start of their careers before earning the coveted eagle, globe and anchor and title of Marine.
But with a new law bearing down on the service to make both locations support coed training — within five years at Parris Island and eight at San Diego — the Marine Corps is exploring different options, Maj. Eric Flanagan, Berger’s spokesman told Military.com.
“The question becomes, ‘Are we better off just using [military construction] dollars to create a new third site, or put that money into our existing sites?'” he said. “No decisions have been made. We’re not investing any money anywhere else. It’s just an option we’re talking about.”
The Marine Corps hasn’t yet identified a state where the new boot camp location might be located, Flanagan said.