It was reported on OMV HERE. Now see the follow up below.

 The Marine Corps’ effort to evaluate whether
more combat jobs should open to women marked another milestone last
week when the second of two female volunteers washed out of infantry
officer training.

A
second lieutenant, she was dropped from the program Friday after
failing to complete required training due to unspecified medical
reasons, a Marine official told Marine Corps Times. It’s unclear whether
she was injured or if she became ill.




The
other volunteer, also a second lieutenant, dropped out Sept. 28 after
she was unable to complete the program’s introductory combat endurance
test. Nearly 30 men also washed out on the first day.

Known
as the Infantry Officers Course, the demanding 13-week program is based
at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. The current class, which began with
109 students, is the first to have included women. On average, about 25
percent of the men who enroll in IOC fail to complete it and voluntarily
withdraw.

The
Corps sought female volunteers for the course as part of a broader
research effort to assess how female Marines might perform in
assignments whose primary mission is direct ground combat — jobs they
are prohibited from filling now. Just the two women stepped forward.
Marine officials have declined to identify them, citing a desire to
protect their privacy.

Upon
completing IOC’s combat endurance test in September, the woman dropped
from the program Friday issued the following statement via Marine Corps
public affairs personnel: “I want to try to open up a door, maybe, for
women after me. I don’t know how far it will open, but I’m hoping to
make a difference for women down the road.”

At
Quantico, those overseeing the IOC experiment have said that it will
involve up to 100 female officers and take at least a year to complete.
The Marine official, speaking on condition of anonymity, reaffirmed the
Corps’ intent to recruit female volunteers for subsequent iterations of
the course.

“This was just the first shot,” the official said.

The next IOC will begin this winter. So far,
no new volunteers have emerged, said Maj. Shawn Haney, a spokeswoman
for Manpower and Reserve Affairs in Quantico, the command leading the
Marine Corps’ research. Nevertheless, she said, the experiences of these
first two volunteers will prove valuable as senior leaders contemplate
potential next moves.

As
part of the Corps’ ongoing review, officials have opened nearly 400
jobs in select ground combat units — billets in artillery and tank
battalions, among others — to female officers and staff noncommissioned
officers. Previously, only men were allowed to fill those jobs.
Additionally, Marine officials are exploring whether the service should
develop “gender-neutral” physical standards.

Taken
together, all of these efforts are expected to inform a recommendation
from the Marine Corps to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on what
additional changes — if any — should be made. That’s due to the Pentagon
in early November.

“All
information gathered as part of our quantitative research efforts, to
include IOC, will be provided to our senior leaders as part of our
recommendation and report,” Haney said. “For IOC specifically, such
information includes recruiting of volunteers, volunteer data and
performance of those who reported to IOC for training.”

USA Today’s Jim Michaels contributed to this report.

Comments

  1. As long as they can physically do it, and the standards are NOT weakend, let’s see what happens. But if one of the dropped people sues to try to get back in, say NO.

  2. No hesitation so long as there are no ‘gender neutral’ standards – let everyone who can perform the job by delivering at minimum expected norms under equal standards do so.
    Which also means that officer/noncom billets should only go to those who’ve ‘been there, done that’ – I never understood putting anyone in charge of people whose job they haven’t done.

  3. I think there will eventually be a few who can pull it off — I’ll never forget the female MP at Lejeune who could bench 300 pounds back when I was in.
    But everyone who’s in the know and spent any time carrying a rifle knows this:
    A) The IOC is no joke. Period. Male, Female, Mutant, or Full Size Lion, you got to be something else to make it through.
    B) Everyone who’s in the know and spent any time carrying a rifle probably wonders why any female would want to do it, other than for equality purposes. Because let’s be honest: Serving in the infantry sucks about 99.99 percent of the time. Yes, it can be addictive, and there’s a brotherhood and pride that goes with it that surpasses even the larger Marine Corps fraternity, but it sucks. Completely sucks the vast majority of the time.*
    Stan R. Mitchell
    SGT, Alpha Co. 1/8
    1995-1998
    * For those who don’t know, here’s a few things off the top of my head that make it fun: chiggers, MREs, humps, sleeping on rough ground, sleeping on muddy ground, blisters, frostbite, shaving in the dark from a canteen cup, covering your face and neck and ears in cammie paint, foot problems (fallen arches), knee problems, back problems, rain storms, humid swamps, heavy packs, wet boots, monkey ass (as we called it, but basically a rash on your gluteus maximus from wearing wet clothes), firing and moving on long ranges, and probably a couple dozen other fun things I’m missing. Fellow brothers, feel free to add more.
    P.S. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret doing it, and still managed to have a blast and learn a ton, but I don’t want some folks out there who are screaming for equality to think that men are hiding some super-fun club that they’re excluded from. On about any given day, I’d have given up my slot.

  4. As long as standards aren’t lowered. But you know they will be. It amazes me that those who demand equality always need “special” rules.
    If you demand equality then BE EQUAL!

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