On Tuesday, President Donald Trump nominated Marine Corps Col. Lorna M. Mahlock for brigadier general, according to a press release from the Department of Defense. Mahlock would be the first Black woman ever to hold the position.
Currently, Mahlock serves as deputy director of operations, plans, policies, and operations directorate. According to a 2015 report, 7.6% of Marines are women, the lowest of the military branches.
In 2015, all combat roles in the military were open to women, with President Barack Obama saying at the time, "I know that this change, like others before it, will again make our military even stronger. Our armed forces will draw on an even wider pool of talent. Women who can meet the high standards required will have new opportunities to serve."
However, in the two years since the measure, less than 100 women in the Marines have entered into positions they were previously barred from, according to the Marine Corps Times. The culture of the Marines, according to some, has also made integrating women into the ranks more difficult. “The entire culture of the Marine Corps is a hyper-masculine culture,” Nora Bensahel a military expert at American University told the Marine Corps Times.
In March, a Dropbox folder containing nude photos of female service members was shared among their male colleagues, this after a 2017 revenge porn scandal, in which nude photos of female service members were non-consensually shared in a secret Facebook group called Marines United. The incident led to Congress passing a law making revenge porn illegal.
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