Women will be first to graduate from Marine Corps infantry training course
Women Marines going through infantry training. Thursday, three women will be the first to graduate from the grueling course.
November 19th, 2013
12:44 PM ET

Women will be first to graduate from Marine Corps infantry training course

WASHINGTON (CNN) - This year, for the first time in the history of the Marine Corps, the graduation class at its infantry training course will include women.

Fifteen women voluntarily began the training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, on September 24. On Thursday, three of them will graduate from the course, a milestone for women seeking equality in the Armed Forces, according to Capt. Maureen Krebs, a Marine Corps spokeswoman.

A fourth woman finished the course, but was injured and couldn't pass the required combat fitness test. She will be allowed to graduate once she heals and passes that test.

The women went through the same physically grueling exercises as the male Marines, including carry 90 pounds of combat gear on a 12.5-mile march, Krebs said.

They also had to perform three pull ups, just as the men did. For ordinary Marine Corps physical fitness tests, women can choose either the pull up or something called a "flew arm hang."

Pentagon says women in all combat units in 2016

This is part of Marine Corps research regarding the capability of women to serve in infantry units. Since last year, 10 women officers have entered Marine infantry officer training at Marine Base Quantico, Virginia. So far none of the officers have completed that course.

However, the women who passed the enlisted course will not join infantry units. They instead will be sent to non-combat jobs throughout the Corps.

Their 59 days of arduous work will instead become part of the Marine Corps ongoing research into the possibility of having women serve in combat.

Opinion: Women on the front lines? Of course

General asks for U.S. warships in typhoon relief
A man carrying provisions walks through an area devastated by Typhoon Haiyan on November 12, 2013 in Leyte, Philippines.
November 12th, 2013
09:08 AM ET

General asks for U.S. warships in typhoon relief

By Barbara Starr

The Marine Corps general in charge of U.S. military aid efforts for victims of Typhoon Haiyan is asking the Pentagon to urgently send a number of amphibious warships to the Philippines.

Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy tells CNN he needs the Marine Corps amphibious ships specifically because they can carry a variety of small boats, trucks, equipment and supplies needed, as well as making potable water. "They are the Swiss army knife of the U.S. military," Kennedy told CNN in a telephone interview from the Philippines. Kennedy says he believes his request will be approved by the Pentagon in the coming hours. As many as four of the warships could be headed to the Philippines.

The amphibious ships can also carry helicopters and tracked vehicles known as "assault amphibious vehicles." These vehicles can carry supplies and move over and through piles of debris to distribution points where aid is needed most.

The U.S. military will take supplies to distribution points, but it will be then handed out by Philippines forces, Kennedy said. Local forces are in the best position to know community leaders and make sure those in the most need are getting the help, he added.

FULL STORY
Corps testing solar-powered Marines concept
Solar like these may soon help Marines in battle.
November 4th, 2013
06:20 PM ET

Corps testing solar-powered Marines concept

By Larry Shaughnessy

For years, top Marine commanders have been worried about the amount of weight each of their troops carries.

There's the body armor, weapons and ammunition. Those are must-haves. But they also carry lots of water to keep from becoming dehydrated and batteries for their radios, GPS gear and night-vision goggles.

Now, the Marine Corps is looking at how to reduce the water and battery weight.

At a base in California this month, Marine and Navy researchers are testing a concept called Marine Austere Patrolling System, with a built-in solar panel and a water filtration system.

This isn't about the Marine Corps suddenly joining the "green" movement. It's about weight and safety.

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The 'brim'ming controversy about Marines hats
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos wearing the dress version of the Male Frame Cover, the hat worn by Marine men since 1922 and maybe soon by women Marines.
October 25th, 2013
07:38 PM ET

The 'brim'ming controversy about Marines hats

By Larry Shaughnessy

At ease Marines. The Corps is not going to make men change their hats.

A New York Post headline, "Obama wants Marines to wear 'girly' hats," generated a lot of attention this week.

But alas, the service says that's not the case.
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Significant lapses led to attack on military base in Afghanistan, report finds
Image from video posted online by a group associated with the Afghanistan Tailban purporting to show the September 2012 attack on Camp Bastion.
October 2nd, 2013
03:43 PM ET

Significant lapses led to attack on military base in Afghanistan, report finds

By Jamie Crawford

The top U.S. commanders of a coalition base in southern Afghanistan "failed to take adequate force protection" measures prior to a September 2012 attack by the Taliban that led to the deaths of two Marines and the destruction of military aircraft, according to a report on the incident.

Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos fired the two senior commanders of the base at the time, Maj. Gen. Charles Gurganus and Maj. Gen. Gregg Sturdevant, essentially forcing them into retirement.

The investigation was directed by Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, who leads Central Command, to determine any potential accountability for the attack.

Army Lt. Gen. William B. Garrett III was the investigating officer for the report released Wednesday and his deputy was Marine Maj. Gen. Thomas M. Murray.
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Filed under: Afghanistan • Marines • Military • Taliban • US Central Command
Two Marine generals lose their jobs over deadly Taliban attack
September 30th, 2013
06:41 PM ET

Two Marine generals lose their jobs over deadly Taliban attack

By Barbara Starr

In an action unprecedented during 12 years of war in Afghanistan, the commandant of the Marine Corps is firing two top generals for failing to protect troops and their base in southern Afghanistan from a Taliban attack.

Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos, has agreed to a finding that Maj. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus and Maj. Gen. Gregg A. Sturdevant "did not take adequate force protection measures" at Camp Bastion last year, the service said on Monday.

On September 14-15, 2012, Taliban fighters got through an unguarded part of a fence and engaged in a long running gun battle with U.S. and coalition forces.
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First on CNN: More U.S. Marines fortify Nairobi embassy security
Kenyan security personnel, crouched behind a ledge, watch on September 23, 2013 a column of smoke rise from the beseiged Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi following a loud explosion. Kenyan security forces were locked in a fierce, final battle with Somali Islamist gunmen inside the upmarket mall on September 23 as huge explosions and a barrage of heavy gunfire echoed out of the complex.
September 26th, 2013
03:31 PM ET

First on CNN: More U.S. Marines fortify Nairobi embassy security

By Barbara Starr

More U.S. Marines are fortifying security at the American Embassy in Nairobi following the deadly shopping mall attack there, CNN has learned.

Two U.S. officials confirmed the move in Kenya, but declined to be identified because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

The newly arrived Marines are part of a unit specially trained in enhanced security, including providing personal protection to senior American officials.

That kind of assistance was recently added to tasks performed by the embassy guard program after the deadly terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, last year.
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Osprey aircraft deployed for first time in support of Marine One
August 10th, 2013
07:00 PM ET

Osprey aircraft deployed for first time in support of Marine One

By CNN’s Greg Clary

(CNN) – Marine Corps MV-22 Ospreys, aircraft that take off vertically, provided a dramatic new look for President Barack Obama’s travel detail as he and the first lady began a Martha’s Vineyard vacation on Saturday.

The Ospreys – making their presidential debut - shuttled White House staff, media and Secret Service members from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod.

The sleek tilt-rotor aircraft can take off like a helicopter but fly like an airplane.

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Filed under: Marines
FIRST ON CNN: Top Marine’s alleged comments in Taliban desecration case draw scrutiny
An image captured on You Tube shows what appear to be U.S. Marines urinating on bodies of dead Taliban.
July 25th, 2013
02:43 PM ET

FIRST ON CNN: Top Marine’s alleged comments in Taliban desecration case draw scrutiny

By Barbara Starr

A senior Marine general said in an extraordinary sworn statement obtained by CNN that the head of the corps wanted several Marines kicked out of the service for their alleged roles in urinating on Taliban corpses - even before any charges were brought.

Lt. General Thomas Waldhauser told military authorities in the sworn statement on Tuesday that he had a private meeting in February 2012 with Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos, who had just named him to lead the investigation and possible prosecution.

"I do not remember the exact words or sequence of what was said, but the CMC did make a comment to the effect that the Marines involved needed to be 'crushed,'" Waldhauser said, adding that the "CMC went on to say he wanted these Marines to be discharged from the Marine Corps when this was all over."

Waldhauser's statement was made as part of the record for upcoming court martial proceedings against two Marines involved in the case.

FULL POST

Out of precaution, Marines on ready to go to Egypt to protect U.S. Embassy, citizens
June 28th, 2013
05:16 PM ET

Out of precaution, Marines on ready to go to Egypt to protect U.S. Embassy, citizens

By Barbara Starr

U.S. Marines stationed in southern Europe have been put on alert as a precaution in advance of expected large demonstrations and potential unrest in Egypt this weekend, CNN has learned.

About 200 combat capable Marines in Sigonella, Italy, and Moron, Spain, have been told to be ready to be airborne within 60 minutes of getting orders to deploy, according to two administration officials.

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