For the first time in history, 2021 will see women attend boot camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

In February one platoon of women will join Lima Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, training alongside platoons of male recruits.

The organization will be similar to at least nine coed companies that have trained through Parris Island, South Carolina, since January 2019.

As the Marine Corps sends women to the West Coast boot camp for the first time, it is conducting a study on the best way to fully integrate boot camp at the platoon level as required by the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

The $2 million contract for the study was awarded to the University of Pittsburgh’s Neuromuscular Research Laboratory and Warrior Human Performance Research Center.

The study will “analyze combinations of gender-integrated training and make recommendations for models that integrate genders to the greatest extent possible while continuing to train Marines to established standards,” an October press release said.

The University of Pittsburgh researchers will be joined by representatives from University of South Carolina’s Department of Exercise Science, Insight Policy Research, and the University of Maryland’s Department of Sociology.

The study will take 18 months and include interviews, focus-group surveys, physical performance data, salivary biomarkers and injury surveillance, along with data collected from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

This is an excerpt from “21 Things Marines Need To Know For 2021,” in the January print edition of Marine Corps Times.

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