The Marine two-star general in charge of formulating training doctrine for the entire service is hitting back at critics who oppose training male and female recruits together.
“Get over it,” said Maj. Gen. William Mullen, the head of Training and Education Command, in an interview with Military.com.
Currently, the Marine Corps conducts gender-specific basic training, but Mullen specifically discounted concerns that training standards would be lowered if men and women trained together.
“We’re still making Marines like we used to. That has not changed,” he said.
Mullen, a combat veteran who led troops in Fallujah, Iraq, said that Marines have most likely been complaining about falling standards since the service was founded in 1775.
“I’m assuming that the second Marine walking into Tun Tavern was like ‘You know … our standards have gone down. They’re just not the same as it they used to be,'” Mullen said, referring to the service’s famous birthplace in Philadelphia. “That has always been going on in the history of the Marine Corps.”
The Corps is currently training its second and third co-ed companies at its East Coast recruit depot in Parris Island, South Carolina. Historically, male and female recruits there have been in separate training companies.
The Corps’ other basic training installation in San Diego remains segregated, Marine officials said.
Mullen said that so far, co-ed training was going better than expected.
“If anything, it went a little better because there’s a little bit more competition with [each platoon] going, ‘No, we need to beat them,’ or ‘We can’t let them beat us,'” he told Military.com. “So there was a little bit of that effect. But other than that, there was no real difference.”
Co-ed training already exists in other branches of the military.