Jenna Stocker joins the podcast. Jenna spent 4 years as a Communications and Strategy Operations Officer in the Marine Corps. Growing up in a family of military vets, Jenna was an avid swimmer and earned an athletic scholarship to the University of Minnesota. After working at the Center for Security Policy in D.C. and briefly entertaining the idea of law school, she completed OCS and became an Officer of Marines. Jenna discusses her perspective on being a female in the Marines, the frustration of dealing with persistent injuries and what the Marine Corps means to her….and her very special Thanksgiving dinner with President Bush!

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  1. Nick Plosser Coolidge

    Huge thanks to @jennastocker for being a guest and to @max for setting it up! Really enjoyed our conversation! 

    • #1
    • November 27, 2020, at 8:09 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  2. JennaStocker Member

    Nick Plosser (View Comment):

    Huge thanks to @jennastocker for being a guest and to @max for setting it up! Really enjoyed our conversation!

    Thanks for being a gracious host. And @max for being very persuasive. This was a great experience.

    • #2
    • November 27, 2020, at 9:33 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  3. Skyler Coolidge

    I was on the staff of Marine OCS back in 1991-1992 and the women had pretty high drop rates. It was rarely for injuries or integrity violations, which were more common with the men. The women tended to drop out for psyche reasons. They had never been yelled at in their lives and they didn’t know how to cope. Of course, this is not all the women, it was just the most common reason for the ones who dropped.

    I have never in my life heard of a “Communications and Strategy Operations Officer.” From a google perusal it appears to be a new name for Public Affairs Officer. I guess it sounds fancier and less baggage with the image of propaganda. Hmm. Reviewing the 2019 MOS manual confirms my assumption. I’ve always been impressed by people who can do this well. It’s incredibly important and if done well it can make a big difference in how the country and even the world perceive what the Marines are doing.

     

    • #3
    • November 27, 2020, at 11:53 AM PST
    • 1 like
  4. J Climacus Member

    Semper Fi Jenna!

    I graduated the 10-week OCC course in Dec. 1986. We had a female platoon in our company. I chuckled at your comment about the female Platoon Sgts and Sgt Instructors. They were every bit as intimidating as the men and seemed to be yelling all the time. We did our best to stay off their radar.

    During my time in the Marine Corps and after I’ve always thought there was something wrong about putting women in combat. It wasn’t so much about their physical capability to do so. To riff off of what white Union soldiers said about black soldiers in the Civil War (“a black soldier can stop a bullet just as well as a white soldier”), women Marines can stop bullets just as well as male Marines. So why not women as well as men if we are looking for people to fill body bags?

    It finally occurred to me that what bothered me about it was that it was… uncivilized. A Marine fights and dies to preserve his family and his nation. Women literally are that family, nation and civilization. In the most crude sense of the word, women are the future; they carry it in their wombs. (I’m not demanding that every woman bear children. Just pointing out that everyone who carries children is a woman.). The psychological duty men feel to protect women is a natural and healthy expression of that reality. Men aren’t sent to die on blasted hellscapes like Iwo Jima because they are “better” than women; they are sent there because they are much more expendable than women. A nation can survive if an entire generation of young men is killed, as just about happened to the British at the Somme. It won’t survive if an entire generation of young women is similarly wiped out. Men understand that reality inchoately if not explicitly. It’s in our DNA to know that being a man means knowing that you aren’t really much in yourself, but that you can become something by defending what really is valuable (women, family and the nation) from those that wish to destroy them. To have the very thing we are willing to die to protect, itself put in mortal danger… it’s hard to think of something more demoralizing.

    • #4
    • November 27, 2020, at 2:10 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  5. Skyler Coolidge

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    Semper Fi Jenna!

    I graduated the 10-week OCC course in Dec. 1986. We had a female platoon in our company. I chuckled at your comment about the female Platoon Sgts and Sgt Instructors. They were every bit as intimidating as the men and seemed to be yelling all the time. We did our best to stay off their radar.

    During my time in the Marine Corps and after I’ve always thought there was something wrong about putting women in combat. It wasn’t so much about their physical capability to do so. To riff off of what white Union soldiers said about black soldiers in the Civil War (“a black soldier can stop a bullet just as well as a white soldier”), women Marines can stop bullets just as well as male Marines. So why not women as well as men if we are looking for people to fill body bags?

    It finally occurred to me that what bothered me about it was that it was… uncivilized. A Marine fights and dies to preserve his family and his nation. Women literally are that family, nation and civilization. In the most crude sense of the word, women are the future; they carry it in their wombs. (I’m not demanding that every woman bear children. Just pointing out that everyone who carries children is a woman.). The psychological duty men feel to protect women is a natural and healthy expression of that reality. Men aren’t sent to die on blasted hellscapes like Iwo Jima because they are “better” than women; they are sent there because they are much more expendable than women. A nation can survive if an entire generation of young men is killed, as just about happened to the British at the Somme. It won’t survive if an entire generation of young women is similarly wiped out. Men understand that reality inchoately if not explicitly. It’s in our DNA to know that being a man means knowing that you aren’t really much in yourself, but that you can become something by defending what really is valuable (women, family and the nation) from those that wish to destroy them. To have the very thing we are willing to die to protect, itself put in mortal danger… it’s hard to think of something more demoralizing.

    Amen.

    • #5
    • November 27, 2020, at 2:16 PM PST
    • Like
  6. Skyler Coolidge

    J Climacus (View Comment):
    I graduated the 10-week OCC course in Dec. 1986. We had a female platoon in our company. I chuckled at your comment about the female Platoon Sgts and Sgt Instructors. They were every bit as intimidating as the men and seemed to be yelling all the time. We did our best to stay off their radar.

    I was in G company, first increment in ‘84.

    Don’t even think about getting caught looking at the women candidates if one of the woman drill instructors sees you. Yeah, they were dirty and smelly (if you ever got close enough to smell them) and weren’t dressed in anything fashionable, but we were dirty and smelly and there were no women around for 6 to 10 weeks otherwise.

    • #6
    • November 27, 2020, at 2:21 PM PST
    • 1 like
  7. Vince Guerra Member

    An excellent episode. Thanks.

    • #7
    • November 30, 2020, at 2:52 PM PST
    • 1 like
  8. Nick Plosser Coolidge

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    An excellent episode. Thanks.

    Thanks for taking the time to listen and comment Vince! 

    • #8
    • December 1, 2020, at 9:19 PM PST
    • Like