A female Marine officer is nearing the halfway mark of the 13-week Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course, Corps officials announced on Thursday.
The Marines are not identifying the female officer, who began the course in July and has about eight weeks left, according to Training and Education Command. If successful, she will become the first woman in the history of the Marine Corps to pass the 84-day course.
“She’s part of the way through, doing very well,” Assistant Commandant Gen. Glenn Walters said on Tuesday. “These are successes that never seem to get out in the press.”
Walters talked to reporters about women joining ground combat units on Tuesday as part of a media roundtable discussing Marine Corps efforts to eliminate attitudes that led to the Marines United Facebook group investigation.
“I’m very proud of the two female lieutenants who went into artillery and graduated with honors from the Army artillery school,” he said. “We have our first female tank officer and she graduated with honors from the Army tank school.”
As of July 19, a total of 248 women were serving in Marine units that had been restricted to men only until the Defense Department approved the Corps’ gender integration plan in March 2016, said Maj. Garron Garn, a spokesman for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
Although no women have completed Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command training, female Marines do serve in supporting roles at MARSOC, such as intelligence, communications, logistics and combat service support, said command spokesman Maj. Nicholas Mannweiler.
Walters acknowledged that the numbers of women in ground combat units is relatively small; however, it represents a good beginning.
“Do we have hordes? No. But we have a pretty good nexus that are attempting to make these choices in life and I’m very proud of that,” Walters said.