Friday, October 22, 2010


By Laura Barron-Lopez
Daily Titan News Director
Published: October 18, 2010

Lance Cpl. Angela Pacheco cried as she embraced her parents during a welcome home celebration of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (1MEF) female engagement team that had been deployed for seven months in Afghanistan. Photo by Daily Titan Graphics Editor Jonathan Gibby

As soon as the bus carrying Marines, of the First Marine Expeditionary Force, who had been at war in Afghanistan came into view, tears began to stream down the cheeks of mothers and fathers who had not seen their daughters for seven months.

The marines didn’t arrive till 3:30 a.m. Friday, and leading up to their arrival their families waited in a hanger on base.

These Marines, called FETs (Female Engagement Teams of the United State Marine Corps.), are the first women to go on all-male foot patrols with Marine infantry units on the front line in the Helmand province of Afghanistan.

The genesis of the concept for FETs came from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

During these conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, the need for interaction with female Muslims was recognized, according to a release issued by the Regional Command South West Public Affairs.

In January of this year, a mass message was sent out to female military to volunteer for an engagement team said Sgt. Guadalupe Rodriquez.

Those 40 women were trained to conduct FET missions full-time.

In the spring of 2010, First Marine Expeditionary Force deployed from Camp Pendleton, Calif. a FET company of roughly 40 U.S. Marines who came from various military occupational backgrounds, according to a press release from RCSW public affairs...

Much more here.

(H/T Mike for this one)

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