By Eric Dehm
Much has been made of the recent graduation of a Marine from the Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course. Why? Because she was the first Marine who happened to also be female to do so.
While it’s a good thing to celebrate the success of a trailblazer like that Marine and others, like 2nd Lt. Mariah Klemke (who recently became the first Marine with two X chromosomes to become an Amphibious Assault Officer), Lt. Col. (Ret.) Kate Germano says it can’t stop there.
“I don’t think we need firsts,” Germano said during an appearance on ConnectingVets.com’s The Morning Briefing. “I think we need seconds, thirds, fourths, fifths. The problem is if everything is a first and we don’t do anything to fix the system then we are always only going to ever ever have a first. And that doesn’t move the needle. That doesn’t change the culture.”
So how does the Marine Corps change the culture when it comes to ensuring women are set up for the same type of success their male counterparts are? Germano believes that starts with telling the story of the trailblazers and how they were able to succeed where their predecessors failed. She sees this as providing a blueprint for success to those who will follow in their footsteps.
She also says that the Marine Corps might want to take a look at how other branches have handled similar issues… even though following in the footsteps of the Army might be a tough pill for some Marines to swallow.
You can hear all Germano has to say on the issue in the full interview below. To download and listen later, simply click the share button and select “Download” from the options.