A female Marine flopped on her second try at becoming an infantry officer last month. She was unable to finish a conditioning hike she had previously failed in April.
Her second try at the Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course began July 6 and she was cut on July 18, according to The Military Times. Her cycle — which ends in September — has also seen 33 males drop out from the initial 97 enrolled. Anyone who fails is offered a second chance to pass.
The unnamed candidate was subsequently reassigned to a new military occupational specialty (MOS) other than infantry. She is the first and only female Marine to step up to the 84-day challenge of the Infantry Officer Course since Secretary of Defense Ash Carter shuttered gender barriers in the military last year.
Prior to the policy change, 29 other females had attempted the course as part of an integration experiment, but none of them passed. Even if they had qualified though, they wouldn’t have been accepted to the MOS. (Related: 30th Female To Try Marine Infantry Officer Course Just Failed Miserably)
Since the transition to open up combat jobs to women, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has repeatedly stressed that there would be no cutting corners on standards. Mabus and Ash Carter faced backlash from some of the military’s top brass who wanted to make an exception to the policy when it comes to allowing females into the infantry. Once the reform was complete, Mabus assured Marines that there’s no turning back.
“Marines, we’re past the decision now. The secretary of defense has made the decision. Now we’re into implementing,” Mabus said at Camp Pendleton in April.