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The Nation

December 30, 1987

All Marines, including women, clerks, cooks and support troops, will receive "live fire" weapons training in what the Corps called "the most extensive change" in its basic training in many years. Until 1972, all recruits, except women, trained with weapons during regular combat training, a Marine spokesman said. Since then the only ones to get such training are infantrymen, who make up only 33,000 of the Corps' nearly 200,000 personnel, he said. There are 9,766 women Marines, about 4.9% of the Corps, he said. Women are forbidden by law from engaging in combat. Commandant Gen. Alfred M. Gray Jr. ordered the change effective next month because in today's fast-moving modern warfare "the rear area environment (of support forces) is not so easily defined," the spokesman said.

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