Second female Marine dropped from the Infantry Officer Course
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.
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.