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.