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VIDEO: First Female Marine Graduates from Infantry Officers Course

First female Marine infantry-qualified officer during the 13-week Infantry officers course in 2017. The officer declined to be identified. US Marine Corps Image

The first female Marine qualified to lead an infantry platoon has graduated from Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course, the service announced on Monday.

“The lieutenant, who asked to keep her identity private, is the first female officer to successfully complete the course since the Marine Corps opened all military occupational specialties to women in April 2016, read a Monday morning release from the service.

According to the service, her first follow-on assignment is to 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

The lieutenant is the first woman to pass the demanding 13-week course after the Pentagon formally lifted gender restrictions in in combat positions in late 2015. Since then four women have attempted to pass the course and failed.

The Washington Post first reported the Marine was set to graduate from the course last week.

“Well done, proud of you but that’s just the first step,” Marine commandant Gen. Robert Neller said in a video message posted early Monday to celebrate the class.
“Now you’re going to go out there with the operating forces and we’re going to give you responsibility for a platoon of infantry Marines and do your very best to lead them.”

The Marines have been the most cautious in allowing women to serve in specific combat jobs requesting waivers to keep certain specialties male-only while the Army and U.S. Special Operations Command did not seek waivers to allow women to serve in combat positions.

In January, the service confirmed three women had passed the enlisted infantry course and were set to be assigned to infantry units but they were not identified.

The following is the complete release from the service.

First Female Marine Graduates Infantry Officer Course

QUANTICO (Sept. 25, 2017) — A female Marine officer made history today at Quantico, Va. by completing the Infantry Officer Course and earning the infantry officer military occupational specialty.

The lieutenant, who asked to keep her identity private, is the first female officer to successfully complete the course since the Marine Corps opened all military occupational specialties to women in April 2016.

“I am proud of this officer and those in her class‎ who have earned the infantry officer MOS,” said Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller.

Infantry Officer Course is the MOS-producing school for Marine Corps infantry officers and the prerequisite course for ground intelligence officers. The grueling 13-week course trains and educates newly selected infantry and ground intelligence officers in leadership, infantry skills, and character required to serve as infantry platoon commanders in the operating forces.

One hundred and thirty-one Marines started the course in July, and 88 graduated today.

“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,” said Neller.

Her follow-on assignment is to 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, Calif.


  • J Bar

    Congratulations. This is no small feat. Is the LT going to fill an Infantry billet? Do all graduates follow with infantry billets per their new MOS? Hopefully she avoids the medical harm that has been seen to plague females in this role. I hope her service is that as an Infantry officer, and not as someone to be treated otherwise.

    • Paul

      Unless things have changed I think Ground Intel officers go to IOC as well, but otherwise it is for Infantry Officers.

      IOC is crushingly hard physically and the tempo is nonstop, so congrats to this Lieutenant.

  • DaSaint

    Congrats Lieutenant! Leaders come in all stripes and forms.

  • draeger24

    Okay, so I’ll ask the question – if this woman is going to be a Marine Infantry Officer, and there are not supposed to be any changes/alterations/special situations, then why is her name not being published? IF there is NO DIFFERENCE, then why the anonymity…sorry, this doesn’t cut it, and this is NOT the same – this is special treatment and it is exactly what all of us have been talking about: While everyone will “mouth” that the standards won’t change – and this IS a standard – here begins the creeping incrementalism. I am fairly certain the Marines didn’t let her slide through – not my point. We do know VERY special treatment was given to the female Ranger candidates. However, if you are able to weather the IOC, then publish it; otherwise, this is special treatment. Congratulations to ALL who passed….and the men’s names are published.

    • Duane

      Are all the names of males successfully completing the infantry officer course published? If the answer is no (as I suspect is the case), then publishing this officer’s name would be “special treatment”.

      • draeger24

        nice counterpoint; however, they are, hence, my point.

        • Duane

          Really – post a link where the Marines publish the names of all who graduate the Infantry Officer Course.

          I’m not saying that the names of graduates are classified top secret .. but where are their names actually published. And if they are, then this officer’s name will surely be on the same list.

          • draeger24

            read Navy and Marine Corps Times much? They publish names all the time from promotions to boot camp grads…secondly, so you seem to be questioning standards, why didn’t she have to have a grunt haircut and conform to the number of pushups, pullups – care to look that up?

          • Duane

            No – I don’t read Marine Corps Times much, or at all.

            So – tell me truthfully, and directly:

            Did the Marines publish the names of all graduates of the particular Infantry Officer Course except for the femaie graduate, or not?

          • draeger24

            Duane, do we always have to spoon feed you…look it us for yourself. Sheeesh….

          • Duane

            You continue to filibuster an answer to my question. You claim that the female officer was given special treatment based on no public naming. Confirm now, or forever hold your piece or peace – did the Navy publish the names of all who graduated in her class, but left her name out … or not? It’s real simple, just “yes” or “no”.

          • draeger24

            I have seen it before, and the article stipulates that her name was not released…so…do some homework. The only names that Navy Times/Marine times does not publish are the names of those that graduated BUD/S….so, do some homework, or forever hold your own piece….

    • James B.

      She’s going Infantry, not PAO. If this Lt becomes the focus of a media circus, it’ll hurt her, it’ll hurt the Marine Corps, and it’ll really hurt every female Marine trying to become an infantry officer behind her. It may not be fair that she has to worry about things the other 87 graduates don’t, but that’s life.