It's a little like that old David and Goliath story...
Called too tough for the Marine Corps, Kate made headlines in the media in June 2015 when she took a stand and confronted systemic problems of gender bias and lowered expectations for women in the Marine Corps. A 20 year career Marine and combat veteran, she fought back and became a national figure in the press by speaking out against discrimination and advocating for higher expectations and standards for women in the military. Her writing has been published in national media outlets to include the New York Times, Time Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, and the Washington Post. She has also been featured on NPR, CSPAN, and the PBS Newshour.
And now Kate and Kelly Kennedy, Army veteran, and best selling author of of "They Fought for Each Other: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Hardest Hit Unit in Iraq," are ready to release a new book about Kate's struggle to level the playing field for women in the Marine Corps.
One woman's professional battle against systemic gender bias in the Marines and the lessons it holds for all of us.
The Marine Corps continues to be the only service where men and women train separately in boot camp or basic training. This segregation negatively affects interaction with male marines later on, and, lower expectations of female recruits are actively maintained and encouraged. But Lieutenant Colonel Kate Germano arrived at the Fourth Recruit Training Battalion at Parris Island--which exclusively trains female recruits--convinced that if she expected more of the women just coming into Corps, she could raise historically low standards for female performance and make women better Marines. And, after one year, shooting qualifications of the women under her command equaled those of men, injuries had decreased, and unit morale had noticeably improved.
Then the Marines fired her.
This is the story of Germano's struggle to achieve equality of performance and opportunity for female Marines against an entrenched male-dominated status quo. It is also a universal tale of the effects of systemic gender bias. Germano charges that the men above her in the chain of command were too invested in perpetuating the subordinate role of women in the Corps to allow her to prove that the female Marine can be equal to her male counterpart. She notes that the Marine Corps' $35-million gender-integration study, which shows that all-male squads perform at a higher level than mixed male-female squads, flies in the face of the results she demonstrated with the all-female Fourth Battalion and raises questions about the Marine Corps' willingness to let women succeed.
At a time when women are fighting sexism and systemic bias in many sectors of society, Germano's experience has wide-ranging implications and lessons--not just for the military but also for corporate America, the labor force, education, and government.
The Washington Post, October 22, 2017- John Kelly said ‘women were sacred.’ That attitude perpetuates the military’s culture of misogyny.
The San Diego Union Tribune, September 25, 2017- Female Marine Officer Smashes Glass Ceiling on Infantry- Let's Learn From It (co-author)
The San Diego Union Tribune, July 25, 2017- Senior Marine Corps Leaders Still Failing In Response to Nude Photo Scandal
The San Diego Union Tribune, May 18, 2017- The Marines are Dragging their Feet on Integrating Bootcamp. Why?
Task & Purpose, May 8, 2017- When Drill Instructors Go Off Script, the Consequences Can Be Fatal
The San Diego Union Tribune, April 13, 2017- Stop Lumping Service Women and Spouses Together (co-author)
The San Diego Union Tribune, March 8, 2017- Senior female Marines must speak out on sexism in ranks
The San Diego Union Tribune, January 19, 2017 - On Saturday She Is Marching for All Military Women
The San Diego Union Tribune, December 19, 2016- Mattis Must Be a Secretary of Defense for All Troops, Not Just Men
The San Diego Union Tribune, November 11, 2016- Abuse at Parris Island Bootcamp
Task & Purpose, November 6, 2016- The Consequences Of Gender Segregation In Marine Boot Camp
Foreign Policy, November 1, 2016- President Trump Would Be a Disaster for Women in the Military (co-author)
Task & Purpose, August 18, 2016- Recruiting More Women Into The Marine Corps Is Only Half The Solution
The Washington Post, August 3, 2016- Mike Pence said in 1999 that women shouldn't be in the military. So much has changed.
Arizona Central, July 2, 2016- Female Marine- Why Women Should Face the Military Draft
U.S. News and World Report, June 22, 2016 - It's Time for Women to Register for the Draft (co-author)
Task & Purpose, April 6, 2016 - The Marine On Hell’s Kitchen’s Problem With Female Marines Started At Boot Camp
Task & Purpose, March 30, 2016- The Marine Corps Doesn’t Have The Data To Validate The Status Quo For Women
Time Magazine (Motto), March 1, 2016- Marine Veteran: Drafting Women is Key to Ending Gender Discrimination
USNI Blog, February 18, 2016- Be Bold! The Power of Constructive Dissent
Military Times, January 20, 2016- Integration of Recruit Training- One Shot to Get It Right
Foreign Policy, January 11, 2016- Why Leadership Will Either Make Or Break Combat Integration in the Marine Corps
Time Magazine, December 18, 2015- More Female Marines Doesn't Mean a Stronger Force
Small Wars Journal, November 3, 2015- The Dangerous Nonevolution of the Military (co-author)
Time Magazine, September 12, 2015- Low Expectations Limit Female Marines
USNI Blog, September 2, 2015- The Road You Take
The New York Times (At War), July 28, 2015 - When Did It Become an Insult to Train Like a Girl?