Marines with 4th Tank Battalion, a Reserve unit out of Twentynine Palms, Calif., roll down a dirt road on their M1A1 Abrams tank during Exercise Africa Lion 2012. Under a policy change, female Marine reservists can assume support roles in combat units, including 4th Tanks, but are still withheld from direct combat roles. (Tyler Main/Marine Corps)
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The Marine Corps has opened more roles in combat units to women — this time in the Reserve.
Effective immediately, enlisted female first lieutenants, second lieutenants, captains, staff sergeants and gunnery sergeants in select military occupational specialties may join a number of Reserve combat units.
Under the change, however, women are still barred from direct combat roles.
Female reservists with an MOS in in the fields of personnel and administration, intelligence, logistics, communications, public affairs, CBRN defense, electronic maintenance, aviation ordnance, meteorological and oceanographic, or recruiting and retention specialist may now join one of the following units, according to Marine administrative message 182/14, signed April 7:
■ Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 14th Marines
■ Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 14th Marines
■ Headquarters Battery, 5th Battalion, 14th Marines
■ Headquarters and Services Company, 14th Tank Battalion
■ Headquarters and Services Company, 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion
■ 3rd Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company
■ Headquarters and Support sections, 4th ANGLICO,
■ Headquarters and Support sections, 6th ANGLICO
The update to assignment policies for female reservists mirrors a similar change made in January 2013, when billets in many active-duty combat units were opened to women.
The service is studying the possibility of admitting women to infantry specialties, under a change to policy from the secretary of defense that gives the service until 2016 to open all jobs to women or apply for exceptions to the policy.