First Female Marine Infantry Officer Graduates

By Faye Higbee

The first female Marine Infantry Officer graduated on September 25 in a quiet private ceremony with family. She is the first woman to pass the grueling IOC course and will now have the 0302 MOS. Her name has not been released at her request. reported

Some 32 female officers have previously attempted the 13-week infantry officer course at Quantico, Virginia since the course first opened to women on an experimental basis in 2012. The vast majority of applicants did not make it past the grueling combat endurance test that kicks off the course. The test runs more than 14 hours and is designed to test Marine officers mentally as well as physically, forcing them to hike many miles with 80-pound packs and complete an obstacle course in which they must climb a 20-foot rope multiple times.

The Marine Corps has steadfastly resisted the calls for making the 13 week course “easier.” Even males attempting it have a high percentage chance of failing it. Between 2012 and 2015, twenty seven females attempted the course during an experimental period…all failed.  Also during that time, 978 males attempted it and only 692 graduated.

Here’s a short video clip of the woman during the training:

The Lieutenant will be assigned to 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California.

As the Lieutenant progressed through the course, it became apparent to the leadership that she was doing much better than others.

“We have a female officer right now in infantry officers course, and she’s part of the way through, doing very well. These are successes that never seem to get out in the press.”Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Glenn Walters back in August.

She passed. Of her class of 131, only 88 made it.

“I am proud of this officer and those in her class‎ who have earned the infantry officer MOS…Marines expect and rightfully deserve competent and capable leaders, and these IOC graduates met every training requirement as they prepare for the next challenge of leading infantry Marines; ultimately, in combat.” Marine Commandant Robert Neller


Featured photo: Marines participate in an exercise during the Infantry Officer Course at Quantico, Virginia, Aug. 10, 2017. The first female Marine to complete the course graduated Sept. 25, 2017. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Master Gunnery Sgt. Chad McMeen)