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Female Marine Officer Fired: Kate Germano Accused of 'Toxic Leadership'

By    |   Monday, 13 Jul 2015 01:32 PM

Female marine officer Lt. Col. Kate Germano has been fired from the only all-female recruit battalion after receiving charges for "a toxic leadership environment" on June 30.

Germano was commanding the 4th Recruit Training Battalion at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island in South Carolina when she was relieved of duty by Brig. Gen. Terry Williams, last month, according to the Marine Corps Times.

Williams criticized Germano for a poor command climate and said that he lost “the trust and confidence in Germano's ability to serve in command," according to a statement received by the Marine Corps Times.

Germano showed "toxic leadership" by berating and showing contempt for those under her command in public, along with bullying fellow Marines and singling them out for under-performing, according to the Marine Corps Times’ command investigation gathered from a Freedom of Information Act request.

Germano, a daughter of a U.S. Army officer, had commanded the 4th Recruit Training Battalion since June 2014, according to her Marine Corps biography. The Marine Corps Times also stated that she has petitioned Congress for redress, claiming that she was treated unjustly by base leadership.

The New York Times wrote that Germano was an advocate for better rifle instruction and test passing rates for women that equaled those of the men under her command. She also sought similar gains for women in strength tests and retention.

"Once we showed the recruits and the coaches and drill instructors it was possible, it filled them with so much confidence," Germano told The New York Times last week. "They knew they were as good as every other recruit, and my hope was the Marines saw it, too."

The New York Times wrote that Germano's strong-willed and demanding style left her in conflict with her male commanders and subordinates, even though others admired her.

"This whole thing started when her Marines — her female Marines — were telling us they were being mistreated," Col. Jeffrey Fultz, the chief of staff for Parris Island, told The New York Times. "She was telling them their male counterparts will never respect them if they don't get good physical scores. You just don't do that."

Marine gender integration advocates told The Times that Germano's firing raises questions about the military branches’ willingness to fully integrate their ranks.

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Female marine officer Lt. Col. Kate Germano has been fired from the only all-female recruit battalion after receiving charges for "a toxic leadership environment" on June 30.
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2015-32-13
Monday, 13 Jul 2015 01:32 PM
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