Back in WWII, women were recruited into the United States Marine Corps to do jobs that would free up more men to be able to fight in the battlefields of the Pacific. Those first female Marines did a great service for the Marine Corps according to the cultural realities of the times, and they proved their dedication, their worth, and their commitment to serve the nation.
Women still have that dedication and commitment and desire to serve, and big changes have begun to happen to enable them to serve in almost every MOS in the military.
This video is about one of those big changes. It is about the first female integrated units being trained together with their male counterparts in Marine Corps boot camp. As you will see and hear, their training is no different than that of their male counterparts. A Marine, by the very nature of the Corps, has to be tough, has to come to see themselves as a Marine, an integral part of the whole of the Marine Corps ethic.
I did a story recently about the Marine Corps Female Engagement Teams. They go out with their Marine Corps brothers into the field just as geared-up, armed, and ready to fight as their male unit members.
Female Marines have, in recent years, served as Infantry officers and commanded combat units. They have flown fighter jets and helicopters in the Marine Air Wings. The Marine Corps is only as capable as each and every individual Marine. To that end, the Marine Corps, as well as the other Armed Services, are recruiting and training women for almost every military position.
The video here will give you a sense of how this change is beginning to take place at MCRD, San Diego. There will always be differences, of course, different realities that men and women do not share, but there is no difference whatsoever in the desire to serve this nation and to undertake all that military service potentially means.
Of the 4,000 Marine Corps recruits in training, 60 of these new recruits are women. You will meet a couple of the women involved in this video; one is a recruit whose confidence is clearly that of a Marine, and the other is one of the female Marine Drill Instructors.
Change is never easy, but it is a part of every part of life. What is essential is to find the strengths, the qualities that change brings, and then to choose to grow with them. The change that is being experienced here will make the Corps even better than it is right now. Marine Corps boot camp takes each recruit where he or she is and turns them into the kind of individual and team member that can finally be called a Marine.
Marine Corps boot camp is not easy for anybody. Every Marine recruit who makes it through and receives his or her Eagle Globe and Anchor (EGA) emblem at the end of the Crucible has earned the name United States Marine. We wish all of the women recruits the best. Oorah!