We Have Our First Four Women in History to Graduate from US Marine Infantry Training
This isn’t a big shock, but it is a big achievement. Ten months after the US Secretary of Defense ordered our armed forces to prepare facilities and training so that women could be integrated into combat and infantry positions, four women will graduate from Camp Geiger, home to the eastern Marine Corps School of Infantry. They will be the first women in history to do so.
Business Insider has details on what their training entailed:
For the duration of training, the female students were required to meet the same standards as their male counterparts. The women’s physical strength as well as their ability to keep up with men on the battlefield were highlighted on what many consider the most demanding course event — a 12 1/2 mile march in combat gear.
The hike lasted no more than 5 hours while each student hauled almost 90-pounds of gear, at nearly a 4 mph pace (almost a jog), rifle included.
Three of the women will graduate today alongside their male peers, while one has had to put off some final, perfunctory tests while she heals from stress fractures detected after the end of her training. The four marines will not, however, be immediately placed in combat positions in the infantry.
Capt. Carey of SOI-East told Business Insider that all of the women have earned a non-combat MOS (or Military Occupational Specialty). They are part of a 100-person “pilot program” the Corps is using to test out training standards and the “viability of women in Infantry training.” The Armed Forces are not required to complete full integration until 2016. In the Navy, meanwhile, six women are expected to be assigned to a combat company by the end of the year.
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