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First female recruits complete San Diego Marine boot camp

An all-female platoon of female Marines arrived at Marine Corps Recruit San Diego in February, and concluded boot camp this week. Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps
An all-female platoon of female Marines arrived at Marine Corps Recruit San Diego in February, and concluded boot camp this week. Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps

April 23 (UPI) -- An all-female platoon of U.S. Marine recruits completed training this week, making them the first women to graduate from Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

While official ceremonies remain, Platoon 3241, one of six in a company of otherwise all-male recruits experiencing the 13-week boot camp, on Thursday completed a grueling three-day final exercise this week known as the Crucible.

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Each of the 53 recruits then received a pin indicating status as a member of the Marine Corps, KFMB-TV reported.

The Crucible includes a 45-mile hike over hills, while carrying a rifle and a 55-pound bag of equipment, and only three hours of sleep each night.

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Then came a 4.5-mile walk to return to barracks, followed by a "Warrior's Breakfast" and acknowledgement of their inclusion in the Marines.

The West Coast training was divided between Camp Pendleton, Calif., and the San Diego Depot, and began in February.

One new Marine, Pfc. Josephine Imperial, was greeted by her father, Sgt. Maj. Joseph Imperial, at the end of training, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on Thursday.

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"Welcome to the family, Pfc. Imperial," he said as she was called out of formation for congratulations.

"I was so happy for him to be there the moment I became a Marine," Josephine Imperial said. "I feel like it's connecting through all of us and I just feel more connected to him and my grandfather [also a Marine] now."

The platoon's scores were the highest in the company in physical and combat fitness tests, with rifle range scores higher than the average of female recruits at Parris Island, S.C., the other Marine boot camp where all female enlisted Marines have been trained, Military.com reported.

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While Parris Island drill instructors are currently training their 15th round of female recruits, it was a first for the San Diego base.

Under a 2019 order from Congress, the Marine Corps must fully integrate women into both its boot camps, Parris Island by 2025 and San Diego by 2028.

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