Marine Corps' Infantry Officer's Course now includes no women
The one Marine officer dropped out
The only female officer enrolled in the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer’s Course has dropped out after failing to complete two conditioning hikes last month, according to the Marine Corps’ Training and Education Command.
“At this time, there are no female officers enrolled or slated to attend (the Infantry Officer’s Course),” Marine spokesman Capt. Joshua Pena told CNN.
He added that 33 additional officers have been dropped from the course out of a starting class comprising 97 officers. The course started on July 6 and is scheduled to finish on September 20.
This was the female officer’s second attempt at passing the course. She will now be given another specialization for her career as an officer in the Marines.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the opening of all combat roles to women back in December, but as of yet no female Marine has passed the Infantry Officer’s Course.
In January, then-head of Southern Command, Marine Gen. John Kelly, cast doubt on whether many women would be able to enter the infantry if current standards were upheld.
“If we don’t change standards, it will be very, very difficult to have any numbers – any real numbers come into the infantry,” Kelly told reporters at the Pentagon.
But the deputy commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. John “Jay” Paxton Jr., espoused a more optimistic view.
“I think the Marines who happen to be women, who are going into those units, are committed to live up to that standard and contribute to unit efficiency and unit success,” Paxton said in an interview with the Marine Corps Times published Monday.
The US Army fielded its first female infantry officer in April.