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Inside Marine boot camp for female recruits - photo essay by Scott Olson of Getty Images

Male and female Marine recruits go through boot camp in February 2013 at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina. Female enlisted Marines have gone through recruit training at the base since 1949. All female enlisted Marines, and male Marines who were living east of the Mississippi River when they were recruited, attend boot camp at Parris Island. About six per cent of enlisted Marines are female. About 11 per cent of female recruits who arrive at the boot camp fail to complete the training, which can be physically and mentally demanding. On January 24, 2013, U.S. Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta rescinded an order — which had been in place since 1994 — that restricted women from being attached to ground combat units. All photos by Scott Olson of Getty Images.



Recruits arrive by bus for boot camp.


Stacey Graham of Richmond, Virginia, and other recruits respond to a drill instructor's orders to call home shortly after arriving. One of the first things Marine recruits do after arriving at Parris Island is make a call home where they read a script to let their families know that they have arrived safely at the base.


More photos after the jump.


Taylor Beimel (L) of Spartanburg, South Carolina and Nicole Miller of Lincolnton, North Carolina wait to continue with their processing after arriving.


Lt Col. Gabrielle Hermes inspects female recruits under her command who nearing their graduation from boot camp.


Female recruits stand for inspection.


Recruits stand in line before getting lunch in the chow hall.


As mandated by their drill instructors, female recruits place their water canteens directly in front of their beverage glass while having lunch.


Female recruits prepare to fire on the rifle range.


Cora Ann Lacher from Manuet, NY, fires on the rifle range.


Kara Forrestor (L) of Great Falls, Montana, and Savannah Warren of Deer Park, Washington, prepare to jump in the pool wearing body armor for swim training. All recruits — male or female — are expected to meet the same standards during their swim qualification testing.


Sgt. Gustavo Ramos of Pomona, Calif., teaches female Marine recruits to remove body armour while under water.


Male and female Marine recruits haul backpacks while swimming in their uniforms as they are tested to determine their swimming skills.


Joyce Venzon of Honolulu, Hawaii, swims in her uniform while being tested.


Female and male Marine recruits listen to instructions as they prepare for a swimming test.




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I hope these women remain safe in the US military. Not only must they dodge bullets but they are also subject to higher than average rates of rape and sexual abuse from their male commanders. One need only watch the Oscar nominated documentary on this subject to see the horror these women face especially when it comes to reporting these crimes and receiving justice from a skewed system that protects the rapists first, and always has.

Why are we showcasing foreign troops and not Canadian soldiers? America is so far behind in equality, we shouldn't be showcasing the fact they are finally catching up with the rest of the developed world in social progress. We should be shaming them for taking this long to recognize the women who have been killed in action as service members "attached" to combat units.

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