A Grueling Course for Training Marine Officers Will Open Its Doors to Women
for The New York Times
Lieutenants must complete tests of their knowledge and mental skills as well as physical tasks at stations miles apart.
By C. J. CHIVERS
Published: July 8, 2012
"QUANTICO, Va. — Under the searing sun of one of the worst heat waves in decades, a sweat-drenched Marine second lieutenant stepped from the woods on the base here and reported to an infantry captain standing on a dirt road."
"The lieutenant dropped to the dirt beside other sweaty young officers and removed a pen from his soggy uniform. Another officer, his time up, approached the second captain, who took the card, expressed disgust that the lieutenant had not written his name at its top and pointed him to a laminated sheet of paper displaying a grid coordinate."
"That coordinate was where the lieutenant was expected for the test’s next stage. When the lieutenant plotted it on his map, he saw that like many of the preceding stations, it was miles away. He shouldered his pack, slung his rifle and began to jog. The temperature hovered near 100 degrees."
"This was one sequence in the Combat Endurance Test, the opening exercise in the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course — one of the most redoubtable male-only domains in the American military. And this session of the course could be the last male-only class. Beginning in September, the corps says, female officer volunteers will participate here, part of a study to gauge the feasibility of allowing female Marines to serve in more extensive combat roles."
Click to read the full story.
Click to see the slide show