The first female Marine is set to graduate the intense, 84-day Infantry Officer Course next week.
The Washington Post first reported Thursday that an unnamed female lieutenant will make history when she graduates the course next Monday, earning her the military occupational specialty of 0302 for infantry officers.
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The Marine finished the final three-week course on Wednesday at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif.
“Infantry Officer Course is the MOS producing school for Marine Corps infantry officers and the prerequisite course for ground intelligence officers,” Training and Education Command said in a statement. “The demanding 13-week course trains and educates newly selected infantry and ground intelligence officers in leadership, infantry skills, and character required to serve as infantry platoon commanders in the operating forces.”
All 36 other females who tried to complete the course have so far failed. About 25 percent of men fail the course. The Marine Corps first opened the IOC to women as an experiment in 2012, which was part of a broader Pentagon effort to examine the effects of gender integration.
At the time, 75 percent of active-duty infantrymen opposed gender integration and 90 percent stated that they believed romantic relationships in the same unit would cause trouble. Additionally, 80 percent believed that the presence of women in the unit would result in false sexual allegations.
The course requires participants to carry heavy loads of up to 152 pounds over long distances. Notably, approximately 10 percent of students fail on the first day.
Now, this female Marine is expected to head on to lead a platoon of 40 infantry Marines.