A Big First Is Coming for Marine Corps

1st female infantry officer is expected next week
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2017 2:15 PM CDT
A Big First Is Coming for Marine Corps
In this May 5, 2014, file photo, a U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard stands under a Marine Corps emblem in Jupiter, Fla.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

A big first for the Marine Corps: It will likely soon have its first female infantry officer. The unnamed lieutenant is expected to graduate Monday from the Corps' Infantry Officer Course, three military officials tell the Washington Post. She is the first of three dozen women who've attempted it to pass the course, considered by many to be the toughest military training of all. On Wednesday, she and her male colleagues completed the final graded requirement of the 13-week program, a three-week combat exercise held in California. Most of the course takes place in Quantico, Va., and that's where a celebratory "warrior breakfast" will be held Monday.

The Marines first started allowing women to attempt the Infantry Officer Course on an experimental basis in 2012, and ended that program in 2015 with 32 women having tried it and none having completed it. Then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter lifted the last of the restrictions on women in the military almost two years ago, and four more women have attempted the course since then, including this one—who, two of the Post's sources say, will likely not want recognition for her historic place in the Corps. She'll likely prefer to just "do her job," they say, which will be to lead a platoon of infantry Marines. A US official confirmed the Post's report to ABC News, and USA Today has its own story about it. (More Marine Corps stories.)

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