Meet The Marine Corps’ First Female Tank Officer

news
2nd Lt. Lillian Polatchek poses in front of an M1A1 Abrams tank at Fort Benning, Georgia.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Molly Hampton

The Marine Corps made history yesterday, when 2nd Lt. Lillian Polatchek became the first female Marine to graduate from the Army’s Armor Basic Officer Leaders Course. Not only is Polatchek a trailblazer for being the service’s first female tank officer — she also graduated at the top of her class.


The 19-week course takes place at Fort Benning, Georgia, where service members are trained up on the finer points of kicking ass in 50-ton armored killing machines, and directing the fire and maneuver of behemoths like the M1 Abrams.

Related: Born In A Russian Prison, She’s Now A Trailblazing Infantry Marine »

“Although the course is fairly large... the small group of Marines that go there really worked well together,” Polatchek said in a Department of Defense press release, adding that the top three students were all Marines.

On April 12, the Marine Corps’ Twitter account posted a short video praising Polatchek, and it quickly went viral.

Even so, Polatchek downplays her role in making military history.

“Ultimately, I'm sort of just looking at it as another Marine graduating from this course,” she said in the video.

Polatchek will now head to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where she’ll report to 2nd Tank Battalion.

Soldiers deploy concertina wire in a location along the Southwest border of the United States near Hidalgo, Texas. U.S. Army North is deployed to the southwest border under the authority of U.S. Northern Command to support the Department of Homeland Security and the Customs and Border Protection's mission to secure the border. (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol)

The Defense Department's Inspector General's Office has launched an "evaluation" of the deployment of active-duty and National Guard troops to the southern border, a news release said Tuesday.

"We will examine, among other issues, what they are doing at the border, what training they received, and whether their use complied with applicable law, DoD policy, and operating guidance," said Glenn Fine, the principal deputy inspector general performing the duties of the inspector general, in the release.

Read More Show Less
(DoD photo)

Gold Star family members might finally see an end to the so-called "Widows Tax" thanks to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020.

Read More Show Less
Saudi Arabia Defense Attache Major General Fawaz Al Fawaz and his Embassy staff and other officials arrive to meet with the Saudi students who remain restricted to the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola base by their Saudi commanding officer, in Pensacola, Florida, U.S. December 9, 2019.( FBI Jacksonville/Handout via Reuters)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly 175 Saudi Arabian military aviation students have been grounded as part of a "safety stand-down" after a Saudi Air Force lieutenant shot and killed three people last week at a U.S. Navy base in Florida, U.S. officials told Reuters on Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
Photo: U.S. Army/Spc. Valencia McNeal

The number of substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct against senior Army officials increased this year, according to an Army Inspector General report recently presented to service leaders and obtained by Task & Purpose.

The document, which lays out broad details of IG investigations undertaken in fiscal year 2019, looks at investigations specific to senior Army officials, which includes "promotable colonels, general officers and senior executives," according to Army spokesman Lt. Col. Emanuel Ortiz.

Read More Show Less
A U.S. Marine with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) carries cold weather equipment as he begins to march across the Icelandic terrain October 19, 2018. (U.S. Air Force/Capt. Kylee Ashton)

MONS, Belgium (Reuters) - The United States will send 20,000 troops to Europe next April and May in its biggest military exercises on European soil since the Cold War to underscore Washington's commitment to NATO, a senior allied commander said on Tuesday.

Days after a NATO summit in London at which U.S. President Donald Trump called low-spending European allies "delinquent", U.S. Major General Barre Seguin said the exercises, centered on Germany, will be the largest of their kind in 25 years.

"This really demonstrates transatlantic unity and the U.S. commitment to NATO," Seguin, who oversees allied operations from NATO's military headquarters in Belgium, told Reuters.

Read More Show Less