Still Just a Few Good Men: No Female Marine Infantry Officers Yet
Policy + Politics

Still Just a Few Good Men: No Female Marine Infantry Officers Yet

© Finbarr O'Reilly / Reuters

American women have been performing mind-boggling feats of athleticism at the Rio Olympics – just look at the show-stopping gymnast Simone Biles and the turbo-charged swimmer Katie Ledecky.

But so far no females have been able to tough it through the Marines’ infantry officer course in Quantico, Va.

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The Marine Corps Times is reporting that the only female candidate washed out on her second try. It says that makes 30 women who have tried and failed to make the cut.

But they are not alone. The Marine Times says that out of 97 who started out, 34 Marines (including the woman) did not complete the 84-day regimen.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter opened all military jobs – including combat roles – to all genders last December. He reaffirmed that decision in March, and in June lifted the ban on transgender individuals serving openly in the military.

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The strategy laid out by the Army and Marines for integrating women into combat jobs calls for officers to be trained first – and the Marines, at least, have refused to lower the physical requirements.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in April, “Same standards, doesn’t matter…they’re Marines.”