First Woman to Graduate Marine’s Infantry Officer Course

Macro image of the US Marine Corps emblem on the American flag

The US Marine Corps is gearing up for the graduation of its first-ever female infantry officer.

The woman, a lieutenant whose name has not been disclosed, will be the first female officer to complete the demanding 13-week Infantry Officer Course, based in Quantico, Virginia. The course is a prerequisite for ground intelligence officers and considered one of the hardest.

About 25% of students who attempt it don’t pass. The Washington Post first reported the story.

“The female officer within Infantry Officer Course has completed all graduation requirements and is scheduled to graduate with her peers on September 25,” the US Marine Corps’ Training and Education Command said in a statement provided to CNN.

The lieutenant will graduate on Monday, the Marine Corps said.

The opportunity for the female officer to tackle the course came about after former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter opened all military occupations to women in January 2016.

The decision was met with some criticism at the time. Current White House chief of staff John Kelly, who was then a Marine Corps general, voiced concern about the action, saying the key question was whether it makes the armed forces more lethal.

Since then, four female Marine officers have unsuccessfully attempted to go through the infantry course.