Browsing: Infantry

What happens when you take a bunch of women, and a bunch of men, give them military training, weapons, and ammunition, and then make them live together for a year? Forget polite, things quickly get real. As part of a new initiative to gauge women in combat roles, the Marine Corps intends to field 460 Marines of mixed gender for a several month training stint, all while under the microscope of doctors and scientists from various disciplines. It’s not just a matter of anatomy and biology this time, Marine officials have told Marine Corps Times that they plan to chart…

These are the first four women in Marine Corps history to complete infantry training. This image, which appeared Nov. 9 on the social networking site Instagram, was first published earlier Tuesday by Business Insider. It was taken by Pfc. Harlee “Rambo” Bradford, who is pictured in the center. The other three women in the photo remain unidentified. Marine officials have kept confidential the identifies of all female students attending infantry training because they are considered test subjects participating in the service’s ongoing study to determine what additional ground combat jobs should open to women. Marine Corps Times caught up with…

Marine Corps Times posted online last night my long-form profile of Cpl. Rob Richards, one of the Marine scout snipers who appeared in a video urinating on dead Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan. The video created an international uproar after it first appeared on the Internet in January 2012. My story is posted in its entirety here. However, I also wanted to point out the work of staff videographer Mike Morones, who traveled me with for the interview to Jacksonville, N.C. With Richards’ permission, we recorded the interview and Morones edited together two video packages. First, here’s Richards speaking on how…

On the viral YouTube video beat, check out this showdown between a former Marine grunt and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) In the video, Bryan Bates, who identified himself as a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who also worked as a private security contractor with the Army Corps of Engineers, stands up at a Sept. 5 town hall in Tucson, Ariz., to ask McCain a tough question about military involvement in Syria. ” I am no stranger to Al Qaeda, their affiliates and the people of the region near Syria. I am here to tell you that I completely oppose any military…

The Marine Corps made national headlines in fall 2010 when it sent tanks to northern Helmand province to bolster firepower there. It was a first for the U.S. in the war, which was nine years old at the time. Nearly three years later, the tanks are coming home. Delta Company, 2nd Tank Battalion, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., will redeploy to the U.S. soon, and will not be replaced by a similar unit, said 1st Lt. Philip Kulczewski, a Marine spokesman in Afghanistan. It’s one of the most tangible indications recently that that the U.S. drawdown in forces in Afghanistan…

A group of Marine reservists are leading a three-day, 81 mile hike in Florida this weekend to honor those who died in the Battle of Fallujah in 2004. Maj. Charleston Malkemus, an infantry officer who fought in the infamous Battle of Fallujah in Iraq in 2004, carries a flag he received from a Marine who was killed in action. He said he now displays it in his company office to remind other Marines of their commitment to uphold the expectations of their brothers-in-arms. And this weekend, he will carry the flag 81 miles as he helps lead a hike from…

Month by month, it increasingly looks like it could be a matter of time before the two-star Marine headquarters in southwestern Afghanistan ceases to exist. Regional Command-Southwest, as it is known, was established in 2010 as the U.S. rapidly expanded military operations in Afghanistan, surging thousands of troops there. The Marine Corps was among the first involved in that surge, seeing its footprint grow in Helmand province from about 11,000 in 2009 to 20,000 the following summer. Maj. Gen. Richard Mills took command that spring of the newly formed RC-Southwest, which split off from the neighboring two star-headquarters in Kandahar…

Marine commanders are planning to draw down to about 4,400 service members in southwestern Afghanistan by early 2014, as the U.S. continues to shrink its footprint across the country. That’s one of the takeaways of this new Marine Corps Times story, which was published in our print edition this week. It outlines the way the Corps continues to reshape its force in Helmand province, where tens of thousands of Marines have deployed and tangled with the Taliban since 2008. Marine officials released the proposed troop number for Helmand province to me for the story, while acknowledging it is subject to…

It has been nearly three years since Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter’s life changed in a white-hot grenade blast. Posting security on a rooftop with another Marine in Afghanistan, his body was mangled in ways that are difficult to fathom: He sustained catastrophic injuries to his right arm, neck and face, including a jaw that was nearly blown off. Carpenter has undergone more than 30 surgeries since, sharing his story along the way to bring attention to the dangers U.S. forces face. He refused to give up, giving thanks for his survival while pushing through thousands of hours of physical therapy.…

The latest iteration of the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course began last week, putting dozens of prospective infantry officers through the beginning of 13 weeks of hell. Those who survive will become the service’s latest crop of infantry officers, a demanding profession they were told begins with a simple question: “How do I win?” As mentioned here last week, I was on the scene at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., for Marine Corps Times as the course’s initial Combat Endurance Test took place. It’s an assignment that had us pushing through the forests of Quantico for hours, observing lieutenants as…

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