TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - The Marine Corps has greatly changed since its birth in 1775.
This past year has further contributed to its evolution. Leaders toured bases across the Corps, addressing Marines face-to-face, female Marines faced the challenges of new physical fitness standards and were afforded new military occupational specialty opportunities. Combat readiness was revolutionized with the implementation of the Integrated Training Exercise aboard the Combat Center.
Every year, the Corps reflects upon its successes and areas of opportunity in order to maintain its status as America's elite fighting force.
In 2013, the Corps attained many historic milestones. Not only have our uniforms and standards improved but new avenues have been made for every Marine to pursue.
A new duty policy was implemented by the Commandant of the Marine Corps in 2013. Some of the changes include a roaming fire watch, non-commissioned officers and armed staff NCOs and officers on duty at each barracks. The new policy has already taken effect in some bases throughout the Corps.
The Commandant of the Marine Corps' reawakening campaign took place this past year. Marine Corps leadership toured bases addressing non-commissioned officers to encourage leadership by example, troop welfare and abiding by Marine Corps values.
For the first time in history, female Marines were able to volunteer to attend the infantry training course. There were 15 females to volunteer but there were four females who completed the course and graduated Nov. 21.
Due to the manufacturer of female Marine barracks covers going out of business, Marine Corps leadership made the decision to make the male cover universal. The universal cover promotes uniformity across the Marine Corps and is now an option for female Marines.
8th and I SGT. MAJ.
Sgt. Maj. Angela Maness assumed duties the senior enlisted Marine at Marine Barracks Washington. Maness replaced Sgt. Maj. Eric J. Stockton and made history by being the first female sergeant major at 8th and I. Maness assumed the duties on June 27.
FEMALE PT STANDARDS
Female Marines were given the option to do pull-ups instead of the flexed-arm hang during their physical fitness test. The option was given to the female Marines to be prepared for the new upcoming standard The standard was originally set to be pull-ups only in 2014 but was pushed back until 2016.
START OF ITX
The Marine Corps launched the first Integrated Training Exercise as its premier pre-deployment training package, Jan. 11. More than 15 units, Marine Corps wide, began ITX 1-13, the successor to Enhanced Mojave Viper, conducted aboard the Combat Center. The training incorporates a building block approach, beginning at a platoon level and increasing to a battalion-sized element, where Marines may utilize combined-arms tactics to employ counter measures, or initiate an attack on simulated enemy targets.
By USMC Lance Cpl. Alejandro Bedoya
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