Parris Island leader says women can handle combat

PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. (AP) - The first female Marine Corps general in charge of Parris Island's basic training says she's confident women in the Corps will be able to handle combat.

Brig. Gen. Loretta Reynolds says the Pentagon's lifting of the combat exclusion against women means commanders will be able to use the talents of both men and women, wherever they may need them.

Reynolds was the first female Marine to command one of the Corps' bases in a combat zone. She was in charge of Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan which supported about 20,000 Marines.

Now, the Marine Corps has entrusted her with training all its women and nearly half its men. And from her experience, she said, young Marines aren't as concerned about gender as they are about a commander's ability to lead.

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