News & Activism

Woman Warrior: First Female to Complete the Marine IOC

Gives new meaning to Feminist Fight Club.

The Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course just trained one important officer. The Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course (IOC) is known as the brutally rigorous 13-week training program. About a quarter of participants are dismissed due to failure to meet standards, 10 percent failing on the first day. On September 20, a woman met those standards and completed the course for the first time in history. Fighting like a girl has never been better.

The Pentagon finished eliminating all restrictions on women in the military just under two years ago in December 2015 under the Obama administration. Yet still, only 15 percent of the 1.4 million active duty troops in the US armed forces are women.

Women are often considered a valuable part of the armed forces for their ability to communicate with local women who would not normally interact with male troops due to certain customs.

The Marine Corps has labeled the IOC as a program that trains potential officers in infantry and leadership skills, as well as character building ideal for infantry officers. About 30 women have attempted to complete the challenging course, but none have been successful until now.

At her own request, this woman has chosen to not publicly disclose her name.

What is known about her, however, is that she is a lieutenant. She completed her training with male colleagues in Twentynine Palms, California and officially graduated at Quantico Marine Corps Base just south of Washington.

A “Warrior Breakfast” was held on September 25 in honor of the 88 graduates. Out of 131 initial participants, 88 finished and one was a woman. This year’s breakfast has finally hosted a true warrior.

She is a warrior for trailblazing in a profession that is not commonly considered in line with the stereotypical definition of femininity. Within an organization that has been ridiculed for resisting a shift in the roles females can play, she is a warrior. She is a warrior for helping break the glass ceiling. In an environment that can unfortunately promote a culture of misogyny, she remained a warrior.

Her focus on simply sticking to her job and her intention to stay out of the spotlight is commendable. It lets her accomplishment speak for itself while she remains the same dedicated person she was before she earned her place as a pioneer of women’s rights.

Her first assignment will be at Camp Pendleton, California. She is predicted to lead an infantry of 40 troops. Under her, these troops will gain a perspective not commonly found in battle by working under a woman.

It is important that these events do not go unrecognized, that they are not swept under the rug.

First Female Graduates Infantry Officer Course

Today, the first female Marine graduated from Infantry Officer Course.The course started with 131 Marines, but only 88 lieutenants earned the 0302 title this morning.Ooh-rah to the future infantry leaders.For more visit: https://go.usa.gov/xRS2g

Posted by U.S. Marine Corps on Monday, September 25, 2017

Every victory must be celebrated, and this is one for the books. You go girl.

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Meghan is a twenty-year-old Communications and Political Science student...