A huge barrier has been passed, three women have graduated from Marine infantry training, the same training the men did, alongside them, partners to the core, in the corps, as it should be; time for the Church to step up. Semper Fi!
An excerpt from the NPR article.
More than 200 Marines have been training since late September in the pine forests of North Carolina. They’ve been hiking for miles carrying 87-pound packs and assault rifles, sleeping in the field, attacking mock enemy positions.
And for the first time, women took part in the training. Three of them made it to the end and graduated Thursday morning.
They were there at Camp Geiger to answer the question of whether women have what it takes to become combat infantry Marines.
On a recent day during the grueling training, the Marines from D Company were lining up just off a winding dirt road. Pfc. Katie Gorz was in charge, getting them ready for a simulated attack on an enemy force, dug in a mile away in the woods.
Lt. Col. David Wallis ran the training and said the female Marines met the challenge — and Gorz earned a leadership role.
“We’ve assigned her to serve as a squad leader for a patrol,” Wallis said. “She’s performed very well relative to her male counterparts in that position.”
Gorz, 19, is from Minnesota. Sturdy and about 6 feet tall, she is one of 15 women — all volunteers — who started the training, but 12 dropped out for a variety of reasons.
A fourth woman, Pfc. Harlee Bradford, finished nearly all the requirements, but a stress fracture prevented her from completing the final physical tests. Bradford will take those when she heals, a Marine Corps spokeswoman said.
“There are certain physical difficulties associated with our curriculum. Looking at upper body strength is a significant factor,” Wallis said. “For those who have done that work, I think there is a potential they would pass.”
Earlier this year, the Pentagon lifted the rule barring women from ground combat. They’ll be allowed to serve in those jobs beginning in early 2016.