Marine Corps to Ban ‘Infantryman’

Preserves ‘rifleman’ and ‘mortarman,’ other job titles to become gender neutral

The Marine Corps is eliminating the job title “basic infantryman” along with 18 others and replacing them with terms that are gender neutral.

Others titles, including “rifleman” and “mortarman,” will remain the same, due to their historical and cultural significance for Marines. Continue reading

‘No one has the guts to sell submarines to Taiwan’ as China pressures Pentagon

The Obama administration is backing away from a 2001 commitment to help Taiwan acquire submarines to defend the island from Chinese attack.

The Pentagon, in particular, is said to oppose the 13-year-old plan to help Taipei buy or build eight diesel electric subs over concerns of disrupting its high-priority military exchange program with China.

The Chinese military cut ties to the Pentagon several times in recent years to protest U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, and agreed to resume exchanges only if the administration adopted China’s concept of “new-type” relations that, for Beijing, includes gradually ending arms sales to Taiwan.

The administration, however, is bound by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act to provide defensive arms to Taiwan to prevent a Chinese takeover. Continue reading

Marine units positioned near Syria

Marines in the Middle East, Africa and Europe are poised to reach Syria within hours should President Obama order a strike on the country as officials work to determine whether the government there was involved in a chemical weapons attack against its own people.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told BBC television Tuesday that the Defense Department has “moved assets in place to be able to fulfill and comply with whatever option the president wishes to take.” Continue reading