Woman Marine exits combat training program

Oct. 16, 2012 at 2:06 PM

QUANTICO, Va., Oct. 16 (UPI) -- The second of two women in the first U.S. Marines' infantry officer training program to include women has left the program in Quantico, Va., an official said.

The demanding, 13-week course at Marine Corps Base Quantico, known as the Infantry Officers Course, typically sees a quarter of its volunteer applicants either withdraw or fail to complete the program. The current class of 109 included two women officers in an effort to evaluate whether more combat positions should be open to women, the Marine Corps Times reported Tuesday.

The unnamed female candidate, a second lieutenant, was dropped from the program Friday for failing to complete training due to unspecified medical reasons, the official said.

The other female applicant, also a second lieutenant, dropped out Sept. 28 after she was unable to complete the program's introductory combat endurance test on the first day of training, the newspaper said, adding that 30 men also withdrew that day.

The woman officer dropped from the program Friday issued a statement through Marine Corps public affairs personnel reading, "I want to try to open a door, maybe, for women after me. I don't know how far it will open but I'm hoping to make a difference for women down the road."

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