Marine Corps seeks volunteers for ground combat arms training, research

30 May 2014 | Lance Cpl. Grace L. Waladkewics

Female Marines stationed at Cherry Point have an opportunity to become pioneers as the Marine Corps takes the next step in its deliberate, measured approach to achieving integration of females into combat arms units and occupational fields.

The Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force recruiting team will present briefs at the Two Rivers Theater here June 5, 2014, seeking volunteers to become members of an experimental GCE to study the unit’s performance in realistic training environments per Marine Administrative Message 252/14.

Briefs will be conducted in the theater here for eligible noncommissioned officers on June 5 from 8 – 10 a.m. and from 1 – 3 p.m. Separate briefs will be conducted for eligible E-1 to E-3 Marines in the theater from 10 a.m. – noon and from 3 ­– 5 p.m.

The Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, which was announced March 2014, will be made up of approximately 500 male and female Marines and is slated to activate at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 2014.

Male and female Marines will take part in a research study that will assess 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 the Marine Corps Force Integration Plan to integrate female Marines into combat arms units and occupational specialties.

During the recruiting briefs, eligible Marines will receive an overview of the initiative as well as an informed consent brief where they will learn exactly what will be expected of them and learn the ins-and-outs of the mission before making the decision to volunteer. Following the brief there will be an open question and answer session where the Marines can review, ask questions and make an informed decision on if participation in the program is right for them. Note that only those who fall into the eligible population will be allowed to attend the informed consent briefs that follow the overview.

Enlisted Marines must be sergeants or below and have less than nine years of service in order to be eligible to volunteer. Male Marines may only volunteer to participate within their primary military occupational specialty. Female Marines can volunteer to participate in any one of the following combat arms occupations: rifleman, light armored vehicle crewman, machine gunner, mortarman, infantry assaultman, antitank missileman, field artillery cannoneer, amphibious assault vehicle crewman and M1A1 tank crewman. For a full list of eligibility requirements, Marines should consult the MARADMIN.

Volunteers will be screened after their volunteer submission has been submitted to ensure they meet the prerequisites of the task force and Headquarters Marine Corps. If selected, the volunteers will be notified of their selection no later than June 13, 2014. Selected female volunteers will receive orders to appropriate entry-level schools during July 2014. Following graduation, the female Marines will receive orders to report to the task force in September 2014.

Female and male Marine volunteers are authorized to request to be dropped from training or from the task force at any time. This request will not lead to consequences 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 better inform and assign female Marines to ground combat arms units and jobs in the future.

Marines who are interested in volunteering should visit, and review the informed consent form, frequently asked questions and print and sign the informed consent form which they can turn in following the briefs.

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point