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.

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney takes questions during a news briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 17, 2019. (Reuters/Leah Millis)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's withholding of $391 million in military aid to Ukraine was linked to his request that the Ukrainians look into a claim — debunked as a conspiracy theory — about the 2016 U.S. election, a senior presidential aide said on Thursday, the first time the White House acknowledged such a connection.

Trump and administration officials had denied for weeks that they had demanded a "quid pro quo" - a Latin phrase meaning a favor for a favor - for delivering the U.S. aid, a key part of a controversy that has triggered an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives against the Republican president.

But Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, acknowledged in a briefing with reporters that the U.S. aid — already approved by Congress — was held up partly over Trump's concerns about a Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer server alleged to be in Ukraine.

"I have news for everybody: Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy," Mulvaney said.

Read More Show Less

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis decided to take on President Donald Trump's reported assertion that he is "overrated" at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York City on Thursday.

"I'm not just an overrated general, I am the greatest — the world's most — overrated," Mattis said at the event, which raises money for charity.

"I'm honored to be considered that by Donald Trump because he also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress," Mattis said. "So I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals ... and frankly that sounds pretty good to me. And you do have to admit that between me and Meryl, at least we've had some victories."

Read More Show Less

The former Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs thinks that the VA needs to start researching medical marijuana. Not in a bit. Not soon. Right goddamn now.

Read More Show Less

The United States and Turkey have agreed to a temporary cease fire to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a safe zone that Turkey is establishing along its border with Syria, Vice President Mike Pence announced on Thursday.

Read More Show Less

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

A Navy doomsday aircraft that would play a vital communication role in the event of a nuclear war had one of its four engines replaced this month after it struck a bird at a Maryland air station.

Read More Show Less