First Women Pass Marines' Grueling Infantry Training

But only non-combat roles await
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2013 1:08 AM CST
Updated Nov 20, 2013 2:03 AM CST
Marines practice marksmanship during infantry training.   (Tyler L. Main/US Marine Corps)

(Newser) – For the first time, women have passed a military ordeal that would crush most men—the Marine Corps infantry training course. Three women out of 15 to enlist in the program will graduate from the course tomorrow after 59 grueling days of training, including a 12.5-mile hike carrying almost 90 pounds of gear, the Marine Corps Times reports. A fourth woman who finished the course at Camp Geiger in North Carolina will graduate when she heals from an injury and can pass the required combat fitness test.

The women were held to the same fitness standards as men throughout the course. But while the military's ban on women serving in combat roles was scrapped earlier this year, the women who passed the course will not be assigned to infantry units or given an infantry occupational specialty. Instead, they will be assigned to non-combat roles and their graduation will be noted as part of the Marine Corps' years of research on opening certain ground combat roles to women.

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