3 Women Pass Marines' Endurance Test
They have a chance at making history in Infantry Officer Course
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2014 5:58 PM CDT
File photo. Three women have passed the Marines' Combat Endurance Test.   (AP Photo/U.S. Marine Corp., Lance Cpl. Justin A. Rodriguez)

(Newser) – Three women have a chance at making history in the US military after passing the Marines' grueling endurance test for infantry officers, reports the Washington Post. This was just the first step, however, explains the Christian Science Monitor. Their passing grade in the Combat Endurance Test merely allows the women to move on and try to complete the rest of the Infantry Officer Course. So far, 24 women have tried to do so and failed. Only one has previously made it beyond the initial endurance test, in 2012, but she had to drop out of the course a week later because of a stress fracture in her foot.

Another big hurdle: Passing the IOC doesn't necessarily mean the women will be allowed to become front-line infantry officers. As the Post explains, the military is allowing women to take the course on an experimental basis, but the "job itself remains closed to women." All branches of the military, however, are being ordered to open up more combat jobs to women, so that could change. The Navy, for example, today announced that enlisted female sailors will be able to serve on submarines for the first time, reports the Hill.