The Integrated Task Force returned to Lejeune late
in June and the Marines were reassigned.
Although the Marines would not confirm it, reports
indicated about one-third of the female Marines failed
to complete the Integrated Task Force process, many
due to physical injuries. A smaller share of the male
volunteers also failed to finish.
While some of the evaluation of the female Marines’
abilities and their impact on the unit will be the subjective views of their commanders and trainers, the
most important factors are likely to be the volumes of
objective data collected from an extensive array of tests
and the electronic monitors the volunteers wore.
The initial survey of the readings of heart and respiratory rates and other measurements of stress, plus the
data on shooting proficiency from the monitoring
devices, will not show the subject’s gender.
The Corps’ principle evaluation is being led by Paul
Johnson, from the Marine Corps Operational Test and
Evaluation Activity. But to preclude allegations of cultural
bias by the Marines, much of the testing data was collected
or reviewed by outside institutions, including the
University of Pittsburgh, the Naval Health Research
Center and the Center for Naval Analysis. The Corps’ eval-
uations will be critiqued by a “red team” from the Center
for Strategic and International Studies, and the whole
process will feed into a long-range study by RAND.
The scientific evaluations will look at how physiologi-
cal factors such as body size and muscle mass affect an
individual’s performance of specific functions, which
could be gender neutral, a Marine Corps spokesman said.
The goal is to produce factually based “operationally
relevant, occupationally specific gender neutral standards”
for each of the ground combat positions, Krebs said.
Whether women can serve in the Marine Corps Force
Special Operations Command (MARSOC) will be deter-
mined by the Special Operations Command, she said.
But, because the MARSOC critical skills operators
— the trigger pullers — come from infantry or recon-
naissance units, the Corps’ decision on what billets to
open to women would be crucial, she said.
The Corps’ ultimate objective, Krebs said, was to
ensure that if female Marines are integrated into
ground combat units, they will have successful careers.
“So we’re looking at a long-term study of, ‘How do
we set Marines up for success?’” she said. ;