The Collocation Policy: A Useful Personnel Assignment Policy for Those Who Don't Understand Counterinsurgencies
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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I enlisted as a track vehicle mechanic, so, to be honest with you, I never really expected to ever have to fire my weapon. This simple statement by a female soldier who found herself engaging the enemy at close range while patrolling the streets of Ramadi, Iraq, with Marines in 2004, signifies all that is wrong with the current policy on the assignment of service women. Since 1994, the DoD-wide direct ground combat assignment policy has governed the assignment of women to military units. The basic policy allowed women to integrate into more units and positions than ever before, to include fighter aircraft. Nonetheless, it still excluded them from assignment to units below the brigade or regimental level whose primary mission is direct ground combat. More significantly, it also authorized service chiefs to further restrict women from being assigned to other combat support and combat service support units that would normally collocate with ground combat units. However, since Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom commenced, so-called direct ground combat units have increasingly found themselves relying on female service members to interact with the women of the conservative, indigenous Muslim populations. Often, in addition to the temporary support or command relationships established to make the service women available, the mere location of these women on the battlefield is in violation of the assignment policy. Therefore, it is time for the Marine Corps to push for a revision of the collocation rules associated with the direct ground combat assignment policy because they are vague, outdated, and limit the commanders legal options in counterinsurgency operations.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Unconventional Warfare