Home News First female Marine corporal passes first phase of MARSOC course

First female Marine corporal passes first phase of MARSOC course

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Marine Raiders Conduct Raids
Marine Raiders with 1st Marine Raider Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, conduct a simulated night-raid on a warehouse in Los Angeles, California, Sept. 3, 2015. 1st Marine Raider Battalion is organized, trained and equipped to deploy for worldwide missions as directed by MARSOC in support of their regionally-aligned Theater Special Operations Command. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Scott A. Achtemeier/Released)

MARSOC officials have confirmed that one woman made it to the end of the first phase of the first Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command assessment and selection (A&S) course to admit female Marines.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter opened all military jobs to women, including those in infantry and special operations units, late last year.

The unidentified female corporal completed the 19-day course last month, but a MARSOC spokesman told military.com she didn’t have the minimum academic and physical training scores necessary to move on to the second phase.

She reportedly plans to re-attempt the first A&S course when the next cycle begins. Marines are given up to three tries to make it through the first phase.  The second A&S phase is a more “secretive and intensive” 3-week course, which is followed by a 9-month individual course — where Marines train in special reconnaissance, irregular warfare, survival, evasion, resistance and escape (SERE), urban operations, and more.

A second female Marine had started the first A&S phase, which began in early August, but reportedly left after one day because she failed to “complete a timed ruck march within the required time.” Both female A&S participants came from administrative MOS’s, Military.com reported. Marine officials said 31 male Marines also dropped out of the demanding course within the first week.

MARSOC spokesman Maj. Nicholas Mannweiler told Military.com, they do not currently have any other female Marines committed to participating in the next A&S course. Mannweiler also indicated that MARSOC officials are “no longer providing specifics about which events or disciplines female participants wash out on.” He said the command does not publicize that information when male Marines wash out of A&S.

“We don’t want to discourage women who have the talent and the capability…I don’t want that to be the barrier for the first women graduating,” he added.

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