Marines recruiting female athletes

CNS News:
...
Kennedy is aggressively recruiting women for the service. He's sending targeted mailings, changing advertising to better represent female Marines, and traveling the country to meet with coaches and female athletes who may be well-suited for the rigors of Marine service.

In particular, Neller believes female wrestlers are good candidates.

"We looked at that and said, 'Wow, that's kinda what we're looking for,'" he said. "They're disciplined, they're fit, they're focused on their mission."

According to Kennedy, the Marines, for the first time, are mailing recruiting literature to thousands of high school girls. Also, updated advertising will show active-duty female Marines doing their jobs on the battlefield.

"The biggest complaint that we've heard and we're reacting to is that we were showing women in some of our material — whether it's commercial or print or whatever — and they were always training," Kennedy said. "And that was a mistake."

Already he's gone to the Women's Basketball Coaches Association conference and has targeted wrestling and other sports gatherings this year.

In those sessions, he said, he is working to debunk misconceptions about women in the Marine Corps, including worries about sexual harassment and sexual assault, limits on career options, lack of stability and difficulties having a family life.
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The recruiters, however, know it won't be easy. Data suggests they have to contact twice as many potential applicants to find a female candidate as they do to find a man. So far, very few are interested in the combat jobs.

In suburban Chicago, Marine Maj. Shanelle A. Porter, commanding officer for Recruiting Station Chicago, said most women coming in the door just want to be Marines, but so far two women have said they were looking for front-line roles.
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There is more.

Learning how to recruit women who have an interest in combat jobs appears to be as big a challenge as getting them through the training command.

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