SUMMARY: Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has proposed opening all combat roles to women and doubling the period of paid maternity leave to 12 weeks, in an effort to retain and recruit more female Marines. Mabus said, “We need more women in the navy and marine corps. Not simply to have more women but because a more diverse force is a stronger force.” Within the same proposal, Mabus suggests extending child-care hours by 2 hours in both the morning and evening and up to 400 placements for Marines to take up to 3 years off to pursue education, raising a family or working in the private sector. For each year taken off, a Marine will have to serve two. Some of these initiatives merely require Mabus’ approval, while others such as extended maternity leave are subject to congressional approval.
SOURCE: Alan Yuhas, May 14 2015, ‘US Navy plans to offer women combat roles and extended maternity leave,’ The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/13/us-navy-women-combat-maternity-leave