A year ago, Marine Lt. Col. Kate Germano, a lean, leathery, intense woman who’d had one key assignment after the next, took charge of the 4th Recruit Training Battalion, the Marines’ East Coast female-recruit training battalion. This unit had, for decades, accepted the idea that women needn’t achieve to men’s standards. She didn’t have any illusions about what women could and couldn’t do, but she also knew that “the soft bigotry of low expectations” was not the way to make Marines out of her young women.
And so she changed things. Boy howdy, did she change things. Things that had been accepted for decades in the unit — like female Marine recruits far underperforming males in rifle qualification. Germano was on solid ground here. Any experienced trainer can tell you women can compete shot-for-shot with their male counterparts on any flat range, and the Marines have made the flat, known-distance range the foundation stone of their world-renowned reputation for riflery.
She didn’t cut failing recruits slack. She didn’t cut her officers any slack. And she didn’t cut herself any slack, either. She treated everyone the same — like adults. Professionals. Marines.
As you might expect, some recruits and Marines thrived under Germano’s set-the-standard-and-meet-the-standard leadership. And some didn’t.
And the women that didn’t were resentful.
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And why the Hades do we need a The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute??? Equal opportunity? There's nothing equal about letting the girl off easy because she's a girl....