Commandant of United States Marine Corps Calls For Arming All On Duty Marines At All Times
Gen. James Amos, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, in a recent presentation called for several changes to institutional policies for the USMC.
Among those, arming all on duty marines, all the time.
This would be a departure from the current protocols followed by all of the military branches which limits access to firearms to most service men and women while they are on duty unless firearms are part of performing their duty, such as for military police officers.
The Commandant’s presentation came about a week after numerous people were killed by a lone gunman at the Washington DC Navy Yard. It is unknown if the Navy Yard incident prompted the suggestion.
The arming of on duty marines was just one of several suggestions made by the Commandant according to Military Times,
Amos’ presentation to general officers came six months after Officer Candidates School at Quantico was put on lockdown late March 21 following an apparent murder-suicide. Marine officials said Sgt. Eusebio Lopez, 25, shot and killed Cpl. Jacob Wooley, 23, and Lance Cpl. Sara Castro Mata, 19, before turning his gun on himself. All three Marines were staff members at the school, considered a revered proving ground for prospective Marine officers.
The plan stretches well beyond improving safety, however. Amos’ briefing slides say that while the Corps has been successful fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, “we are now seeing signs that are our institutional fabric is fraying.” He cites sexual assault, hazing, drunken driving, fraternization and failure to maintain personal appearance standards among the issues he wants addressed.
Amos wants security cameras installed in barracks, more noncommissioned officers and officers on duty, especially at night, and a better focus on leadership, personal appearance, and physical conditioning.