A female Marine officer has failed the Infantry Officer Course for the second time, raising concern as no woman has been able to pass the course.
According to the Marine Corps Times, The female officer and 33 of her male counterparts have fallen out from the original class of 97 Marines, who are slated to graduate from the 84-day course later next month.
However, the second failure of the female Marine officer proves particularly troubling for the Marine Corps, particularly since all occupational jobs have been opened to women.
“At this time, there are no female officers enrolled or slated to attend IOC,” said Captain Joshua Pena, a spokesman for Training and Education Command (TECOM).
The woman fell out of two conditioning marches during the course, which exceeds the number of marches that can be failed. She has since been assigned another occupational specialty.
The female Marine -who has not been identified- was the 30th woman to try when she attempted IOC for the first time in April, dropping out after 11 days.
The Marine Corps showed great resistance to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter’s push to open all occupations to women, but was ultimately overruled by the Carter and -by extension- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.
Despite resistance, Mabus assured Marines that women would be required to meet the same standards if they wanted to be in the more-demanding combat roles.
“Standards will not be lowered for any group to get through,” Mabus told Marines and sailors at Camp Pendleton in April. “Standards may be changed as circumstances in the world change, but they’ll be changed for everybody.”
Mabus also recalled visiting IOC and being asked what would happen no woman was able to pass to pass the course in the next five years.
“My response was: No woman made it through IOC,” he said. “Standards aren’t going to change.”
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