In another historic milestone for female Marines, another woman is on track to graduate the Corp’s grueling and arduous 13-week Infantry Officer Course on June 23, 2018, and she’s pushing for a job field that could put her in charge of the Corps’ elite reconnaissance Marines.
Only one woman thus far has successfully completed the course and gone on to don the occupational field 0302, infantry officer. She is currently serving as the only female infantry platoon commander.
Infantry Officer Course 3-18, set to graduate on June 23, currently has one female Marine officer enrolled. “The Marine is attempting to obtain the military occupational specialty of 0203, Ground Intelligence Officer,” Capt. Joshua Pena, a Marine spokesman, told Marine Corps Times in an emailed statement Wednesday.
The 0203 filed can be a pathway to becoming a scout sniper or recon platoon commander. Ground intel officers can serve as platoon commanders for sniper or recon platoons after completing the necessary follow-on pipeline training. Or, they can serve as intel officers within a battalion, regiment, or division staff.
No women have yet attempted becoming a recon Marine.
The Corps’ IOC has come under intense scrutiny over the past couple of years.
Corps officials have made recent tweaks to the course including removing the Combat Endurance Test as a graduation requirement and the Corps reduced the number of evaluated hikes to graduate to three, though poor performance in any of these events can ultimately impact final evaluations.
Previously, candidates were evaluated on five out of nine hikes. The Corps has argued the changes better align with the Corps infantry training and equipment manual. Officers attending IOC still need to complete all nine hikes.
Three female Marine officers entered IOC class that kicked off sometime in April and two did not make it to the end. In total, about 30 Marines were attrited since the start of the course, according to Pena.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.