Female Marines (ITB & MCT)
In March of 2018 the Marine Corps started sending female Marines to Marine Combat Training (MCT) at Camp Pendleton, CA. The Marine Corps is continuing it's integration of male and female Marines after approving female Marines to enter all combat jobs as well as integrating certain parts of training in boot camp at Parris Island.
When deciding which Marines will train on the east coast and which will train on the west coast, the Marine Corps uses a similar approach as when they decide where to send male recruits for boot camp. The Mississippi River is thought of as the "dividing line". Female Marines whose MEPS station is west of the river will go to MCT at Camp Pendleton, and those whose MEPS station is east of the river will continue attending MCT at Camp Lejeune. In addition, female infantry Marines will go to Camp Lejeune and all Recon Marines will go to Camp Pendleton.
This change will benefit those who live closer to the west coast. Now they will have a shorter distance to travel if they choose to attend their Marine's graduation from the School of Infantry (SOI).
Leaders throughout the Corps believe that by exposing male Marines to female Marines early on in their careers that they will be more likely to expect the authority that higher ranking female Marines hold. The Marine Corps is continuing to look at new ways to integrate males and females throughout different areas of training.