Twitter Chat: The role of women in newly integrated U.S. combat forces

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Female U.S. Marine recruits prepare to fire on the rifle range during boot camp at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

At 1 p.m. EST on Monday, December 16, PBS NewsHour (@newshour) will host a Twitter chat to discuss the role of women in U.S. combat forces. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Should women serve in front-line combat positions? In December 2015, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that women can serve in any combat role in the U.S. Armed Forces, as long as they meet the specified qualifications.

In the NewsHour’s two-part series, “A Few Good Women,” correspondent William Brangham followed three young women through the physically grueling process of Marine Corps boot camp, and examined the controversy over this profound change in American policy.

In Part 1 of our series, we met these women in the tough, early stages of becoming Marines at Parris Island, South Carolina. The piece also explores the still-ongoing debate that led up to the lifting of the ban: Critics say integrating women into front-line positions will weaken the Marine Corps, supporters argue it can be done successfully.

WATCH: These women aspire to combat roles — now they’re training for them

Part 2 follows our young recruits as they try to pass difficult physical tests, amid the tough, gender-neutral standards set by the Marine Corps to qualify for these jobs.

At 1 p.m. EST on Monday, Dec. 16, PBS NewsHour (@newshour) will host a Twitter chat to discuss the series with PBS NewsHour correspondent William Brangham (@WmBrangham), producer Dan Sagalyn (@DanSagalyn), and two prominent voices from our series:  Retired Colonel Mary Reinwald, editor of Leatherneck Magazine (@mrein87), and Retired Lt. Colonel Kate Germano (@kate_germano). Join the conversation using the hashtag #NewsHourChats.

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