More integration on the way for Marine Corps boot camp, next commandant says

Elizabeth Howe
May 02, 2019 - 10:47 am
New commandant says more integration coming for Marine Corps boot camp

Photo courtesy of DVIDS

Despite recent reports that the Marine Corps' experiment with integrating females into boot camp was over, the new commandant says next year will see more of it.

The first gender-integrated Marine Corps boot camp class got to Parris Island, S.C. on Jan. 5 and has since graduated. Soon after graduation, a Marine Corps spokesperson communicated that the Corps was undecided about whether or not further integration would be implemented — despite no significant problems with the experiment. 

USMC move to integrate boot camp more ends; future unclear

"I showed up to train — everybody trains the same," Pvt. 1st Class Harley Mesiemore told the Associated Press. "I was focused on myself and getting through the week and just getting out of here."

And it looks like the next commandant of the Marine Corps feels similarly. 

"We measured the same things in every company that goes through there — how well they did physically, how many injuries they had, all those sorts of things," Lt. Gen. David Berger said during his Senate confirmation hearing to become the next commandant. "The statistics...for this company were the same as every other company — a few areas higher, a few areas lower, but it went great. The program of instruction that we used in the Marine Corps we didn't change. We just changed where they were billeted, and it all worked out."

Male and female Marine platoons train together in boot camp for the first time

The future commandant sees no reason that further integration shouldn't be implemented. 

"I talked to the commandant this morning about it and the results of it," Berger said. "What I asked him is that — we have to look at this, perhaps for next year. He said, 'Absolutely.' So I think it's a discussion he and I will have and the Marine Corps will have. But the class that entered in January and graduated a few weeks ago did very well."

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