The Marines' top general commandant of the Marine Corps has put out the call for his troops Marines to get behind the dDefense dDepartment's move to open all combat arms jobs to 's new policy on women in combat arms.The Marine’s highest general has made it clear: the order on gender integration in the Corps has been received and it’s time to execute.
Commandant Gen. Robert Neller released issued a video message to Marines Friday — one clarifying official policy to Marines a day after Defense Secretary of Defense Ash Carter held a Pentagon press conference announcing his decision to lift gender-based restrictions throughout the military. Neller stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the top enlisted Marine to announce that the Corps will immediately begin "full integration of [the] force."
"Yesterday we received the Ssecretary of Ddefense’s decision and we’ll immediately begin full integration of our force," Neller said in the 47-second clip. "As we move forward, we will maintain our standards and maximize the talent and skills of all Marines — male and female — to strengthen our Corps core and increase our combat effectiveness," Neller said in the 47-second clip.
Carter made his decision despite requests for exception to gender integration by Gen. Joseph Dunford, who served as the Marine commandant until September, when he became the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, made earlier this year while he was serving as Commandant of the Marine Corps.
The Marine Corps partially released part of a months-long study on gender integration earlier this year. The data released showed that an internal study earlier this year which concluded male-only combat arms units outperformed mixed-gender teams. Dunford made his recommendation to Carter that some fields remain closed to women following that study. ones and recommended keeping these jobs closed to women.
The recommendations put the Corps at odds with both the Navy and Army, which have been strongly in favor of gender integration.
"While the Marine Corps asked for a partial exception in some areas ... […], we are a joint force, and I have decided to make a decision which applies to the entire force," Carter said at the briefing.
Neller’s message alongside Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Ronald Green echoes previous commitments made by Marine Corps leadership to execute Carter’s decision on the women in combat roles. issue, whether or not the Secretary of Defense agreed to the exceptions.
Lt. Gen. Robert Bailey, the Corps’ top operations officer at Plans, Policies and Operations, told Marine Corps Times in October that no matter what the defense secretary Secretary of Defense decided, Marines will must carry out their mission no matter what.
"When [Carter] makes the decision, as Marines always have in the past, we salute and carry out orders," said Bailey, who also serves as the Marine Corps' ground combat element's advocate. he said. "We are going to be fine; the Marine Corps is in great shape."
Carter’s decision opens about 220,000 combat arms positions to women, mostly in Army and Marine Corps infantry and armor military occupational specialties. In 2016, the positions Beginning Jan. 2, these positions will be open to anyone who is able to meet their gender-neutral performance standards.
"As Marines, our mission is success in combat; the success of each Marine is a goal of every Marine leader, and my job as your commandant is to provide trained and ready Marines, as teams or units, where they can fight and win in any clime and place," Neller said in the message. "We have a decision, and it's time to move out."