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Marines’ boot camps could go co-ed as soon as 2020

May 1, 2019

Male and female Marine Corps recruits could be training side by side as early as next year, ending the rules segregating recruits into separate training units at the Corps’ famed boot camp.

Lt. Gen. David Berger, tapped to be the Marines’ next top officer, told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee this week that co-ed training units could become the norm at all Marine Corps Recruiting Depots in the United States by 2020.

“I think it’s a discussion that ... the Marine Corps will have,” Gen. Berger told lawmakers during his confirmation hearing, saying he has talked about the change with current Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller.

Only one co-ed training company has graduated from the Marine Corps basic training program. Roughly 50 female Marines completed basic training with their male counterparts in 3rd Recruit Training Battalion at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in South Carolina in April. If approved, co-ed training units will be expanded to the Corps’ other training depot in San Diego.

All training standards remained the same for the co-ed unit at Parris Island, and none of the grueling physical requirements for Marine Corps basic training were adjusted for the female recruits, Gen. Berger said.

“It all worked out,” he told the panel.

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