New in 2017: Future of Marines’ gender integration plan uncertain

New in 2017: Future of Marines’ gender integration plan uncertain

It remains to be seen whether President-elect Donald Trump will halt the U.S. military’s ongoing efforts to open all combat jobs to women.

Retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, Trump’s nominee for defense secretary, has voiced skepticism about the Defense Department’s gender integration efforts.

“We have to be very careful that we do not undercut the military battlefield effectiveness with shortsighted social programs,” Mattis told Military Times in September.

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller told reporters in December that he has “no idea” if the next administration will reconsider gender integration efforts.

“No one has mentioned it to me,” he said on Dec. 7. “I’ve heard people speculate on it. I don’t do speculation. Until the 20th of January, we’ve been told what to do and we’re in the process of doing it.”

Currently, all 337 Marine Corps military occupational specialties are open to women, said Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Philip Kulczewski.

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