The Latest: Navy secretary sells Marines on women in combat

AP News
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Posted: Apr 12, 2016 7:15 PM

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on Navy Secretary Ray Mabus' talk with Marines on women in combat (all times local):

4 p.m.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is telling rank-and-file Marines to get used to having all combat positions open to women who qualify.

The secretary told about 1,500 Marines and sailors at Camp Pendleton, California, on Tuesday that the decision is final and there's no turning back. He likened full inclusion of women to the integration of blacks in the 1940s and, more recently, gays and lesbians, calling it a positive development that will strengthen the Marines.

Mabus assured the audience repeatedly that standards won't be lowered.

Camp Pendleton is the third major Marine base that Mabus has visited to discuss December's edict that women be allowed to compete for all military combat jobs.

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1 a.m.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has squared off against Marine Corps leaders who resisted recruiting women for all combat jobs. On Tuesday, he takes his case to a broader audience at Camp Pendleton, California.

Marine Corps leaders had sought to keep certain infantry and combat jobs closed to women, citing studies showing combined-gender units are not as effective as male-only units. Defense Secretary Ash Carter overruled them in December, ordering all positions open to women.

Since then, the military services have put together plans outlining how they will integrate women.

Mabus will address about 300 leaders from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, his latest visit to a major base to discuss integration plans. He sided with the defense secretary against Marine Corps leaders.