Marine Corps Boot Camp: Job Titles to Be ‘Gender Neutral’ by April

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Gina Harkins reports: The Marine Corps has been ordered to come up with a plan to make its enlisted entry-level training coed, and to make its job titles more gender-neutral following the recent move to open all military combat roles to women.

“It requires a look at … how much personnel to bring, how many drill instructors to bring, the leadership and support cadre that comes along with that.”

In a Jan. 1 memo to Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus requested a “detailed plan” on how the service will fully integrate its boot camp and Officer Candidate School. The plan is due Jan. 15 and will be implemented by April 1, the memo states.

“The barracks in San Diego are H-shaped, for example, so you can see everything that’s going on. If women are living in them, do you black out the windows or make an entire building that’s theirs? Do you do a floor for men and a floor for women?”

“The Department of the Navy’s implementation plan must include gender integration of Marine Corps enlisted recruit training and officer candidate school,” Mabus wrote. “In this submission, identify where, if anywhere, this training is already integrated, where it is separate, and specific steps that you will take to fully integrate these trainings.”

In a second memo from Mabus to Neller on the same day, the SecNav directed the Marine Corps to conduct a full review of its military occupational specialty titles in an effort to ensure that they are gender neutral.

“Please review the position titles throughout the Marine Corps and ensure that they are gender-integrated as well, removing ‘man’ from the titles and provide a report to me as soon as is practicable and no later than April 1, 2016.”

A Navy official said that the service received a similar memo pertaining to its MOS titles and descriptions. Mabus doesn’t intend to require iconic titles like “infantryman,” “rifleman” or “midshipman” to be changed, however, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Read the rest of this entry »


Tragedy in Yemen: American Hostage Luke Somers Killed in Rescue Attempt

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South African Pierre Korkie Also Killed in Raid

Julian E. Barnes and Maria Abi-Habib reporting: An American and a South African held hostage for more than a year by al Qaeda’s Yemen branch were killed during a U.S. special operations forces raid Friday night, in the second rescue attempt in as many weeks.

“There were compelling reasons to believe Mr. Somers’ life was in imminent danger… Both Mr. Somers and a second non-U.S. citizen hostage were murdered by the AQAP terrorists during the course of the operation.”

— U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

Luke Somers, 33 years old, was killed by militants, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Saturday. Several members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, were also killed in the raid.Pierre-Korkie

South African teacher Pierre Korkie was also killed in the raid, according to a charity that had been trying to help negotiate his release.

“The United States will spare no effort to use all of its military, intelligence, and diplomatic capabilities to bring Americans home safely, wherever they are located. And terrorists who seek to harm our citizens will feel the long arm of American justice.”

— President Barack Obama

Mr. Hagel said the raid was ordered by President Barack Obama because “there were compelling reasons to believe Mr. Somers’ life was in imminent danger.”

“Both Mr. Somers and a second non-U.S. citizen hostage were murdered by the AQAP terrorists during the course of the operation,” Mr. Hagel said in a statement.

A U.S. official said Mr. Somers was shot by militants as the raid unfolded and wasn’t killed in crossfire.

“We received with sadness the news that Pierre was killed in an attempt by American Special Forces, in the early hours of this morning, to free hostages in Yemen.”

— Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman

It wasn’t immediately clear where Mr. Somers’s remains were.

The raid took place after AQAP had warned that they would kill Mr. Somers if U.S. forces attempted another “foolish” rescue attempt, in a video statement released Thursday. In the video, an AQAP commander threatened to kill Mr. Somers by the end of the week if their unspecified demands weren’t met. Read the rest of this entry »