Marines will review women-in-combat integration if requested by Trump

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Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller listens to comments during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 2, 2016.  Carlos Bongioanni/Stars and Stripes
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Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller listens to comments during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 2, 2016. Carlos Bongioanni/Stars and Stripes

Marines will review women-in-combat integration if requested by Trump

by: Tara Copp | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: December 08, 2016

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s decision to integrate women into combat positions will be reviewed if requested by President-elect Donald Trump, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said Wednesday.

“If we’re asked what our best military advice is on that, we’ll make that known at that time,” Neller said Wednesday at a defense forum in Washington, D.C.

Last year, Defense Secretary Ash Carter opened all military positions to women, including positions in the infantry, artillery and tanks that the Marines Corps had recommended remain men-only.

But the incoming Trump administration and the nomination of Gen. James Mattis to defense secretary increases the chances that Carter’s decision will be reviewed and possibly changed, said retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Kate Germano, chief operating officer of the Service Women’s Action Network, a nonprofit policy group that advocates on behalf of U.S. female servicemembers.

During the presidential campaign, Trump was asked what he would do about the “social engineering” of the military – a reference to recent moves to be more accepting of gay and transgender members, and recent decisions about women serving in combat roles. Trump said he found the military had leaned too far in the direction of political correctness, but would leave decisions on how to fix that to the generals.

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