Marine Corps Gets First Female Infantry Officer

Marine Corps Gets First Female Infantry Officer

A woman is expected to break a major gender barrier in the Marine Corps by becoming the first female infantry officer to serve in the elite military branch next week, according to a Thursday report. She is expected to graduate on September 25.

The new class will be attending a celebratory "warrior breakfast" around 35 miles south of their training grounds at Quantico on Monday. All three spoke to The Washington Post anonymously because the graduation has not yet occurred.

If she graduates as expected, the lieutenant will lead a 40-man platoon in a branch of the military that has been traditionally resistant to women in combat roles. Their only remaining graduation requirements now are a few administrative tasks and to return their training equipment, and then I guess the real adventure begins.

Since the course opened up, more than 30 female officers have attempted it and failed.

The historic moment arrives nearly two years after then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter lifted the military's remaining restrictions on women.

Officials with knowledge of the woman declined to reveal her name, asserting that she did not want to gain media attention and instead remain as a "quiet professional".

The Marines first opened the Infantry Officer Course to women on an experimental basis in 2012, allowing them to attempt it as a part of broader research across the Defense Department examining how to integrate all-male units. At least one of those four women attempted the course twice, but did not complete it.

The course requirements include field proficiency and carrying loads of up to 152 pounds for a distance, the Post reported.

Two women became the first to graduate from Army Ranger training camp earlier this year but have not yet been assigned to a regiment.

The woman, who wasn't immediately identified, will be the first female to graduate from the course in the Corps' 241 years of service.



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