” Two female Marine officers who volunteered to attempt the Corps’ challenging Infantry Officer Course did not proceed beyond the first day of the course, a Marine Corps spokesperson confirms to the Free Beacon. The two were the only female officers attempting the course in the current cycle, which began Thursday in Quantico, Virginia.
With the two most recent drops, there have been 29 attempts by female officers to pass the course since women have been allowed to volunteer, with none making it to graduation. (At least one woman has attempted the course more than once.) Only three female officers have made it beyond the initial day of training, a grueling evaluation known as the Combat Endurance Test, or CET. Male officers also regularly fail to pass the CET, and the overall course has a substantial attrition rate for males.
The Marine Corps spokesperson, Captain Maureen Krebs, told the Free Beacon that the two officers, “did not meet the standards required of them on day one in order to continue on with the course.” Fifteen male officers also did not meet the standards. Of the 118 officers who began the course, 101 proceeded to the second day.
The Marine Corps, along with the other services, has been evaluating how to comply with the order to gender-integrate its combat arms specialties by the end of this year, or apply for special exemptions.
The results of the Marine Corps’ experimentation thus far has revealed a pattern: Female enlisted Marines have been able to graduate from the enlisted School of Infantry’s Infantry Training Battalion in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, though at a lower rate than male enlisted Marines, while female officers have faced great difficulty in graduating from the course in Quantico. “