17 percent of Marines say they'd quit over women in combat

U.S. Marine Female Engagement Team members Lance Cpl. Mary Shloss, right, Sgt. Monica Perez, center, and Cpl. Kelsey Rossetti in Afghanistan. U.S. Marine Female Engagement Team members Lance Cpl. Mary Shloss, right, Sgt. Monica Perez, center, and Cpl. Kelsey Rossetti in Afghanistan. Julie Jacobson/AP File Photo

It's only been eight days since the Pentagon announced it would lift its longtime ban on women in combat, and the objections just keep on coming. Seventeen percent of Marines say they'd quit the military if women are allowed in combat roles, according to a survey conducted last summer by the Pentagon, the Associated Press reports. The Marine Corps is the most-male part of the military — only 7 percent of Marines are women. Which might explain why there appears to be quite a gender divide on the issue: only 4 percent of female Marines say they'd quit, while 31 percent said they'd consider moving to a combat position.

It's worth comparing these results to the military's feelings on the end of Don't Ask Don't Tell. A 2008Military Times survey found that 10 percent of active-duty service members said they'd leave the service if gays were allowed in the military, and 14 percent said they'd consider it. Yet a year after the gay ban was repealed, the Pentagon said there had been no impact on recruitment, retention, or morale. In 2011, 10 percent of respondents to a Military Times poll said they'd consider leaving military housing if gays were allowed, but only 2 percent reported they actually moved in 2012.

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