Testing a new approach for attracting women to its ranks, the Marine Corps sent direct-mail pitches to 40,000 female high school students this summer.
The Marines are not trying to increase the proportion of women among recruits, said Capt. David Kramer of Marine Corps Recruiting Command. The direct mailing is just a test of a new technique.
The results are not yet complete, but early indications are that more women responded to the mailing than the Marines had expected, Kramer said. Success will be measured by how many actually sign up.
The Marines traditionally get their recruiting message to women through broad-based advertising media, such as television, radio, newspapers and magazines.
Recruiting men and women is getting harder for all branches of the military, in part because young people are attracted to the booming civilian economy. At the same time, the military’s image has been hurt in recent months by a series of sexual harassment and abuse cases and debate over adultery.
About 5 percent of the Marine Corps is female.