DoD

October 11, 2013

Marines: First female Marines attend infantry course

A combat instructor at the Infantry Training Battalion observes as a female student removes her pack after failing to keep up with the other students on a 5-kilometer hike during the first week of training at Marine Corps Base Camp Geiger, N.C., Sept. 28, 2013. Students will be counseled for failing any of the first three hikes during their training, but must pass the 20-kilometer hike midway through the cycle to continue training. Fifteen female Marines were given the opportunity to attend the training after boot camp for the first time in Marine Corps history as part of ongoing research into the acceptance of women into combat-related job fields. The female Marines go through the same training and are held to the same ITB standards as their male counterparts.

CAMP GEIGER, N.C. – The first female Marines to ever attend infantry training with the Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry-East, at Marine Corps Base Camp Geiger, N.C., completed the first week of training Sept. 28.

Fifteen female Marines began the training following graduation from boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., as part of ongoing research on the incorporation of women into combat-related jobs.

The research is a result of the lifting of the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Assignment Restriction earlier this year, which required all services to implement a plan to completely integrate women into combat positions by 2016.

The 15 female students were among 119 recent graduates from recruit training. Forty-eight of the women met the initial physical requirements for the course, but only 19 volunteered to join Infantry Training Battalion, or ITB. Four later opted out of the training, instead choosing to attend Marine Combat Training, a course required for all Marines, regardless of occupational-specialty.

All Marines attending the infantry training are expected to meet the same physical standard, known as the “ITB standard,” during scored events — regardless of gender. The standards of the battalion have not changed; they are the same standards outlined by the Marine Corps prior to the start of the current research.

The remaining 15 students chose to go above and beyond what is required of female Marines by attending the infantry course. Upon completion of the course, the female Marines will not be awarded the 0311 infantry job designator and will proceed to their previously selected occupational specialty training.

“I asked them why they are doing this,” Staff Sgt. Kevin Hayden, a combat instructor with delta company at ITB said. “Their answer to me was that they wanted a challenge. I think all Marines come to the Marine Corps for a challenge, and this was a way for them to put in a little more effort and do something that most people wouldn’t volunteer for.”

The students spent the first week completing rigorous physical screenings to include the physical fitness test, the combat fitness test, the high intensity tactical training assessment and a 5-kilometer hike.

Hayden said he and his fellow combat instructors aren’t treating any of the Marines differently.

“These are Marines,” Hayden said. “No matter what, they’re going to be treated the same as every other Marine.”

One female Marine did not meet the physical fitness test minimum score and chose to drop from the current cycle to work on her strength before attempting the training again with the next cycle.

One female Marine did not meet the combat fitness test minimum score and chose to opt out of the training entirely.

One male Marine also dropped from the training for failing the physical fitness test.

Since the female students are attending the training on a voluntary basis, they are permitted to drop on request at any point during the training with no penalty.

In order to accommodate female students into Infantry Training Battalion, a few adjustments had to be made — including dedicating an existing squad bay for the exclusive billeting of female students and bringing over three female combat instructors from Marine Combat Training, or MCT, to serve as gender advisors to the ITB staff and to provide positive leadership to the female students participating in the research study. The female instructors went through one training cycle with ITB to familiarize themselves with the instruction before assuming their roles during this iteration.

The first half of the infantry course roughly mirrors the 29-day training cycle all non-infantry Marines complete at MCT. The second half, however, delves into more specific infantry skills. This is the part of infantry training where instructors say many of the Marines begin to struggle.

The instructors said injuries are one of the main reasons students drop from training.

“It is rigorous training for the body, but they have youth on their side, so a lot of them can put up with it,” 1st Sgt. Shawn Hebert, first sergeant of delta company, Infantry Training Battalion, said. “All of these young Marines are pretty strong mentally, but physically — our minds want to go forever, but our bodies end up failing us.”

Among other collection requirements, the question of whether female Marines are able to withstand the physical rigors of entry level infantry-training is a key data point behind the research at ITB. The Marine Corps plans to continue to send female Marines through the course for the next year, or until they have gathered data from 250 to 300 female students.

“This is definitely historic for the Marine Corps,” Hebert said. “The Marines are going to do great things … I feel privileged to be here at the Infantry Training Battalion.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
2nd Lt. Lacey Roberts

Predator makes maiden flight on U.S. soil for Arizona Air National Guard

2nd Lt. Lacey Roberts The Arizona Air National Guard Predator sits on the runway awaiting taxi and takeoff for its maiden flight at Libby Army Airfield, Fort Huachuca. The sounds of cheers, applause and an occasional “woohoo...
 
 
Army Broadcasting

Army Production premieres ‘iSoldier’ newscast targeting younger Soldiers

Army Broadcasting Soldiers at Defense Media Activity-Army Broadcasting premiered the new iSoldier newscast, a new multi-media program aimed at younger Soldiers, Nov. 7. The newscast from Army Broadcasting at Fort Meade, Marylan...
 
 

WARRIOR CARE MONTH 2014 — Show of Strength

Each November, the military Services commemorate our sacred obligation and enduring commitment to wounded, ill and injured Service members and their Families and caregivers. These men and women have personally contributed to the strength of the force and the strength of our Nation. Their determination and resilience in recovery inspires us all. The theme for...
 

 

Civilian retirees encouraged to obtain new Civil Service Retiree ID Cards

Those whose Civil Service Retiree ID Card, DA Form 1608, looks like the top and need to make an appointment with the Fort Huachuca DEERS/RAPIDS ID Card Section to receive a new Civil Service Retiree Card which now looks like the bottom: Changes in security procedures require visitors to have an ID card which can...
 
 

Exchange doubles savings on gas today, Saturday for MILITARY STAR® Card users

DALLAS — As the hectic — and sometimes pricey — holiday shopping season approaches, Army & Air Force Exchange Service Express locations worldwide are doubling the discount MILITARY STAR® cardholders receive on fuel, helping to keep shoppers’ wallets from running on empty. Through Saturday, drivers fueling up with their MILITARY STAR® card at Army and...
 
 

Lose cigarettes, e-cigs Thursday during Great American Smokeout

Fort Huachuca smokers and electronic nicotine delivery device users have an opportunity next week to quit smoking — even if it’s only for one day. On Thursday tobacco users across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout. They may use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin