Gina Harkins

Gina Harkins

Multimedia journalist

Gina Harkins has reported on Marines from the U.S., Central and South America, and at sea. She holds a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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Beyond the barn: Agriculture careers don’t always mean a life in the fields

Jobs in agriculture often conjure up visions of livestock, cornfields and tractors. But these entrepreneurs are proving that the industry offers diverse career paths.

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Fighting smarter: Marines test new gear to take on tech-savvy enemies

Technology on the battlefield is changing faster than ever, and
the U.S. Marine Corps is gearing
up for a more complex fight.

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Battling for pilots: Air Force, commercial airliners compete for skilled aviators

The Air Force is fighting to retain
its top pilots as commercial
airlines lure them away from the
military with promises of lucrative
salaries and more stable work

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Military Officer

Gates: Congress should ‘absolutely’ approve Mattis to be SecDef

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates has seen retired Marine Gen. James Mattis in action.
Gates recommended Mattis for some key leadership positions while he was running the Pentagon. Mattis served as the head of two different combatant commands in that time - experience Gates says makes the retired four-star an excellent pick to serve as the next defense secretary.

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Marines find culture of hazing, abuse at boot camp after recruit's death at Parris Island

Multiple investigations into the death of a Muslim military recruit at the Marine Corps’ fabled Parris Island training center have uncovered a troubling pattern of mistreatment, and officials are responding with a series of policy changes designed to improve accountability.

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The Marines will remove the word 'man' from these 19 job titles

Thousands of Marines serving throughout the infantry and in other key positions are about to get new gender-neutral job titles, but the service's top leaders are pushing to leave the word "man" in some of its most iconic occupations.

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The long, lonely battle to vindicate two dishonored military pioneers

Darkness engulfed the Arizona desert as the first of two aircraft closed in on the landing zone. The mission, part of the Marine Corps' controversial evaluation of the V-22 Osprey, called for a simulated communication blackout.

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Parris Island purgatory: Why these recruits spent 16 months at boot camp

Inside the ordeal that left two Marine recruits stuck at Parris Island for more than 500 days.

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A Marine's Silver Star brings closure and hope to this once-dishonored battalion

When Col. Chris Dixon recalls his unit's 2011 deployment to Afghanistan, he doesn't dwell on the grainy 40-second video that made international headlines.

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Chattanooga shooting: Marine shielded his daughter from terrorist's rampage

It was 60 seconds of sheer horror. These recruiters' incredible untold story.

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Female Marines on women in combat: 'We're ready'

The Marine Corps will immediately begin implementing new policies following the defense secretary's decision to open all combat fields to women, and female Marines who've been waiting for the ban to lift have one message: They're ready.

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Q and A with the commandant

Marine Gen. Robert Neller, commandant since September 2015, addressed some of the major issues confronting the service in an interview with USA TODAY’s Gina Harkins.

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Gen. John Kelly: Military partnerships are vital in the Americas

ABOARD A MILITARY AIRCRAFT – When Washington wanted answers this summer about the hordes of unaccompanied kids illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, Gen. John Kelly was thrust into the spotlight.

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11 secrets Marine drill instructors hide at boot camp

The images stay with you for the rest of your life: Screaming drill instructors, in your face, in your space, in your nightmares.

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How to approach wounded warriors, a Marine vet's tips

Justin Constantine defied the odds when he made it home from Iraq.