The Marine Corps will begin accepting male and female Marine volunteers to stand up an integrated task force as part of a deliberate, measured and responsible approach to integrating women into ground combat arms units and occupational specialties, reports the U.S. Marines.
The Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force (GCEITF), which was previously announced in March 2014, will be made up of approximately 500 male and female Marines and is slated to activate at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in June 2014.
Male and female Marines will take part in a research study that will assess the performance of integrated ground combat arms units and establish physical, physiological and performance standards for assignment to ground combat arms occupational specialties. The GCEITF is one of the efforts of the Marine Corps Force Integration Plan to integrate female Marines into combat arms units and occupational specialties as directed by the Secretary of Defense in January 2013.
Marines interested in volunteering must provide informed consent through the Headquarters Marine Corps website, in telephone or in person during the specified recruiting briefs.
Enlisted Marines must be sergeants or below and have less than nine years of service. Male Marine volunteers will participate only within their primary MOS. Female Marines can volunteer to participate in their current MOS (specific MOSs required listed in Maradmin) or choose from one of the following combat arms occupations: rifleman, LAV crewman, machine gunner, mortarman, infantry assaultman, antitank missileman, field artillery cannoneer, AAV crewman and M1A1 tank crewman. For a full list of eligibility requirements, Marines should consult the Maradmin.
Volunteers will be screened to ensure they meet prerequisites of the task force and Headquarters Marine Corps will notify all selected volunteers no later than June 13, 2014. Selected female volunteers will receive orders to appropriate entry-level schools during July 2014. Upon graduation, they will receive orders to report to the task force September 2014.
Both male and female volunteers can request, at any time, to drop from training or the task force without consequence to future retention, assignment or promotion opportunities.
The Marine Corps will assess the task force from July 1, 2014 to June 20, 2015 in order to help inform future decisions in the assignment of female Marines to ground combat arms units and jobs.