1st Female MARSOC Candidate Will Not Advance to Next Phase

By Faye Higbee

A female Marine Corporal made it through 19 weeks of the first (A&S) phase of MARSOC training, but did not have the minimum physical or academic scores to move into the second phase. She will come back at the first of the year and try again, according to the Marine Corps.The woman toughed it out until the end of the 19 weeks in August and did not drop out.

MARSOC: Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command

Two women who began the process of MARSOC training were of an administrative MOS. One of the women, a Staff Sergeant, withdrew after the first day when she failed to complete the required ruck march in the time allotted. The other woman made it all the way through, but her scores were too low by the end of the 19 weeks. By the end of that first week, 31 male Marines had also washed out of the course.

Women were invited to go into the MARSOC program after Ashton Carter opened those opportunities to women last year. All Marines who attempt the first phase have the opportunity to try again 2 more times.

Yes, this particular Marine did not make it through this time but she got pretty far, and I think this is good news. I also think it is good news that the Marine Corps Special Forces command are seemingly supportive and are being smart about integration…Eventually a woman will pass. For hundreds of years they have not been given access to these courses and jobs, and, especially with Special Forces, it might take time. As long as all combat jobs and schools remain accessible to qualified women, no matter the number who make it, we are going in the right direction.”  Shelly Burgoyne,US Army 1st Lt.(Ret)

The MARSOC Program

The first A&S phase is “assessment and selection,” and part of the requirements are to complete a 12 mile ruck march with a 45 pound pack in less than 3 hours. They are required to tread water (15 minutes), swim 300 meters in their camouflage uniforms (under 13 minutes), and to get top scores on regular physical fitness tests. They also must pass the academic portion in the classroom. There are minimum scores for all phases and exercises.

Wearethemighty reported,

“Those who do make it through the first A&S phase must then pass a second, more secretive and intensive three-week A&S phase. Upon successful passage of A&S Phase II, Marines are invited to participate in the high-intensity nine-month individual training course, which covers the entire spectrum of Marine Corps special operations, including special reconnaissance, irregular warfare, survival, evasion, resistance and escape (SERE), urban operations, and more.”

There are currently no other female Marines scheduled to tackle the training. The Corporal plans to re-enter in the next cycle and try again.


The Ruck March during A&S – screenshot