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Marine Corps Releases Footage Of First Female Infantry Officer In Action
It’s official: The Marine Corps has its first female infantry officer.
The first female candidate to successfully complete the branch’s intense Infantry Officer Course graduated at Marine Corps Base Quantico on Sept. 25, the branch announced, earning an infantry officer MOS and a follow-on assignment with the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton in California.
Marines participate in an exercise during the Infantry Officer Course at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, Sept. 18, 2017. The first female Marine to complete the course graduated Sept. 25, 2017.Photo via DoD
The anonymous lieutenant all but clinched her historic achievement after completing the three-week live-fire culminating event at Twentynine Palms, Task & Purpose originally reported on Sept. 21. The 35th female candidate to attempt the notoriously grueling 13-week IOC pipeline since the branch opened the course’s doors to women in 2012, the lieutenant had by early September surmounted the training obstacles that had stymied her predecessors.
Of the 131 Marines who attempted to the IOC back in July, some 88 graduated on Sept. 25. That means nearly one-third of the class didn’t make the cut — well above the course’s normal 25% washout rate. And to mark the historic moment, the Corps released a brief video of the anonymous lieutenant during training:
Despite pervasive concerns among active-duty and veteran Marines regarding lower training standards for female candidates — anxieties compounded by public scrutiny of the branch in the aftermath of the Marines United new photo-sharing scandal that rocked the armed forces in March 2017 — the overall reaction within the appears to be one of pride.
In an email to Task & Purpose, a Marine Corps Training and Education Command spokesman emphasized that the IOC training standards “did not change.” Those standards, as Task & Purpose previously reported, include brutal marches of between 6.4 and 9.3 miles, with candidates lugging weight loads up to 152 pounds — significantly more intense requirements than other officer training pipelines across the U.S. military.
Hike requirements for infantry officers in the Marine Corps and Army, as obtained by Task & Purpose in early September 2017.Photo via DoD
The Corps seems well aware of this perception in its release of the training footage. In the past, service branches rarely divulged details regarding female candidates attempting traditionally male-only specialty pipelines, like the elite SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection (SOAS) course, both in accordance with privacy rules governing the personal information of federal employees and the wishes of individual candidates. In this case, the branch showcased the candidate's performance during IOC while keeping her identity anonymous in accordance with her wishes.
“She’s a quiet professional,” TECOM spokesman Capt. Joshua Pena told Task & Purpose. “She wanted to go through training, graduate with her peers, and continue with her career in the Marines.”
Marines participate in an exercise during Infantry Officers Course class 4-17 at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, Sept. 18, 2017.Photo via DoD
In a statement, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller emphasized that every IOC graduate “met every training requirement as they [prepared] for the next challenge of leading infantry Marines; ultimately, in combat.” But one Marine veteran, an IOC graduate who returned to Quantico as an instructor between 2011 and 2013 while the branch was examining the question of female infantry officer candidates, put it more succinctly.
“The coin I received for completing the IOC is worth exactly the same right now as it was before she graduated,” he told Task & Purpose. “This has been a long time coming, and I’m proud the Corps did this on its own terms.”
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.
A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.
Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.
So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.