A retired Marine believes a double standard is behind the firing of a female officer known among recruits for her demanding reputation.

“This much I know about Kate Germano: She is a firm, but fair leader by example,” retired Maj. Charles ‘Lynn’ Lowder told Fox News on Tuesday. “If her name was Kevin Germano I don’t think we would be having this conversation at all.”

Lt. Col. Germano was bounced June 30 from her post at the 4th Recruit Training Battalion on Parris Island, S.C., after a command investigation accused her of “toxic leadership” by berating and showing contempt for subordinates in public.

The 300-page report found her to be “hostile, unprofessional and abusive" and told her all-female team of recruits that sexual assault was preventable, and that those who drank put themselves in a position to be assaulted.

But, according to the Military Times, her supporters say she was a blunt reformer only trying to make the unit better by holding women to tougher standards.

“Believe it or not, there are some Marines that don’t want to be held to standards,” Lowder told Fox News. “And those are the people that will complain and gripe when somebody comes in, puts those standards out there and says these are the standards we’re supposed to perform to.”

Germano, who served 18 years as a Marine officer, took command of the Parris Island unit in 2014. She was responsible for leading nearly 100 Marines, and claims that under her supervision, female recruits could shoot better, run faster and be stronger than women in the unit before.

“Despite considerable active and passive resistance throughout all echelons of the Recruit Depot and the Marine Corps, we each worked incredibly hard to improve the performance of our recruits to make them stronger, faster, smarter and better shots -- all to better the institution," she wrote in a letter to her battalion.

Germano is now petitioning Congress for redress, saying she was treated unjustly by Parris Island superiors, the Military Times reported.