The second female Marine officer has washed out of the corps’ infantry-officer training, Marine Corps Times reports. That means both women – along with nearly 30 of 107 men – have failed to make it through the grueling 13-week course.
This is the first time the corps invited female volunteers to participate, as part of a Marine effort to assess how women might perform in ground combat roles – jobs the Pentagon currently bars them from filling.
The two women were the only two to volunteer for the course. Their experiences – the first dropped out after failing the initial combat endurance test, and the second for unspecified medical reasons – won’t stop the pilot program. The corps wants to put about 100 women through the course over the coming year before deciding what, if any, combat slots should be open to them.
“I want to try to open up a door, maybe, for women after me,” said the female officer who dropped out last week, according to a statement she issued through the corps. The Marines have declined to identify either woman. “I don’t know how far it will open, but I’m hoping to make a difference for women down the road.”
The next infantry-officers course begins this winter. So far there are no female volunteers.