Only two of about 80 eligible female Marines have volunteered for the course — a grueling, three-month advanced regimen conducted at Quantico, Va., that was opened to women to research their performance.
Of the two female volunteers, one washed out on the first day, along with 26 of the107 men, and the other dropped out two weeks later for medical reasons, a Marine Corps spokesman said.
The research effort was launched after the Pentagon opened to women more than 14,000 jobs that could place them closer to front lines and combat.
The Marine Corps wants to test at least 90 more women in the course before making any decision about women serving in infantry roles, the spokesman said.
Testing and evaluating
The Marines have yet to implement the research option for female enlisted Marines who volunteer to train at the Infantry Training Battalion, the all-male advanced regimen at the Corps' School of Infantry at Camp Geiger, N.C., a spokeswoman said.
The research is part of efforts to gather information that could help guide decisions on what opportunities can be opened to women.
The Pentagon ordered the services to issue a progress report on the jobs it opened to women and to look into other areas, including the infantry, that could be opened to women.
Since May, the Marine Corps also has been testing women’s endurance and strength.
Tests include lifting a 72-pound machine gun above their heads while wearing a 71-pound rucksack, marching 12 miles in less than five hours carrying a 71-pound rucksack and evacuating a mock casualty weighing about 200 pounds.View Entire Story
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Kristina Wong is a national security reporter for The Washington Times, covering defense, foreign policy and intelligence affairs. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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