HISTORIC PHOTO: The first female Marines ever to complete infantry training


This photo, taken by Pfc. Harlee Bradford (center), shows the first female Marines to successfully complete the Corps’ enlisted infantry training course. Bradford posted the image to her Instagram account Nov. 9 with the words “And then there was four.”
(Photo courtesy of Harlee Bradford)

These are the first four women in Marine Corps history to complete infantry training.

This image, which appeared Nov. 9 on the social networking site Instagram, was first published earlier Tuesday by Business Insider. It was taken by Pfc. Harlee “Rambo” Bradford, who is pictured in the center. The other three women in the photo remain unidentified. Marine officials have kept confidential the identifies of all female students attending infantry training because they are considered test subjects participating in the service’s ongoing study to determine what additional ground combat jobs should open to women.

Marine Corps Times caught up with Bradford Tuesday afternoon. She told us that she sustained a leg injury that will preclude her from graduating with the other three later this week during a ceremony at Camp Geiger, N.C. “I finished all of the 0311 requirements with a stress fracture,” she said, referring to the Corps’ military occupational specialty code for infantry riflemen.

The injury prevented her from completing her last Physical Fitness Test and Combat Fitness Test, final requirements at the School of Infantry – East’s Infantry Training Battalion. ITB molds newly minted Marines into infantrymen during a rigorous 59-day course spent mostly living and training in the field.

Bradford said she will finish the program shortly and expects to participate in a graduation ceremony with ITB’s next class. That is scheduled for Dec. 20, said Capt. Maureen Krebs, a Marine spokeswoman at the Pentagon.

Women who complete ITB will not receive the 0311 MOS or join Marine infantry units. After graduation, they will head to their originally slated MOS schools.


About Author


  1. Rambo couldn’t finish without breaking her leg. cool you physically can do some pushups or whatever. what happens under fire when u freeze up and realize it’s not a popularity contest and there is no second place there is no tampons there is no hygiene there is no cute instagram photo or nicknames like Rambo it’s straight blood and guts

  2. Ladies I hope you realize how big of a deal this is. Aloe of people are going to be against it. Try your hardest and what ever you do don’t sink to what a lot of your sister’s in arms are doing to get promotions. Semper Fi 2/3 G

  3. I was a grunt and I’m glad to see these four Marines are making history. What I think is really awesome is that these four Marines have bigger balls than all of main side with all their pogue bullshit. That’s right, supply, nbc, motor t, etc, these four females did what you were too pussy to do. Semper Fidelis.

  4. From a Navy Sister: What a great selfie! Thank you for making us all proud. I love how big you each are smiling. Enjoy this moment and on to the next challenge…

  5. I’ve always wondered why the huge outcry to have women serve in the infantry but not make it mandatory for women to sign up for selective service at 18? Aren’t you puttinh the cart in front of the horse? All that hard work to put may 1 or 2 women in a plt of 40+men in austere conditions, no one thinks she will be oustracized?

  6. @Tom – Really? Why is it an automatic assumption that women who get promoted have sunk to a new low for promotions? Do BJ’s get higher PFT scores? Rifle scores? Completion of PME and MCIs? Do men have to do special favors for promotions? That old saying that women sleep their way to the top is so stale. Time for men to come up with something new. Congratulations ladies!

  7. Congratulations, ladies!!! You proved that it can be done.

    To the rest of the Marine Corps, respect their achievements. They have done what many have done, but they are first for their gender and have proven that the gender barrier is nothing more than desire and perseverance.

    For HQMC, give these ladies their MOS. If we are not ready for this to be their primary MOS, make it a secondary. They deserve the recognition when their Official Files are reviewed.

  8. Way to go Marines! Once a Marine, always a Marine.

    And guys making comments about these four not being “real” Marines, I will bet hard cash these Marines would out do you in every way in the field. Shut up and go armchair quarterback that football game on tv you never could pull off in real life either.

  9. Awesome job ladies!!! You completed what some men can’t even accomplish!!! Be proud and don’t listen to negativity!!! Strive to be the best you can be!!!! Semper Fi!!!!

  10. Outstanding, Semper Fi!! I am curious though, did they change the standards for the female Marines like they do for the PFT? This isn’t meant as a slight I am genuinely curious to see if they will have 2 sets of “standards” as they do for the PFT?

  11. I remember when the Corps used to be about winning wars, not being all-inclusive and politically correct. Having women in combat roles will not make the Corps stronger, it will only make it weaker. I’m glad I got out before all this bullshit.

  12. Yeah because completing ITB will make you ready for a the riggers of war. The young ladies don’t know what real war is probably never will. Completing the school doesn’t make you some war hardened salt dog. Put them in the shit and see what they can do.

  13. Congratulations, Marines! BRAVO ZULU on a job exceptionally well done! We are proud of your courage and your accomplishment.

  14. Good job. But they will never be seen as equal as long as the female physical fitness test continues to be much much easier than the men’s PFT. Equalize the physical requirements between men and women and you equalize the respect.
    Saying the women passed while having to exert less than 40% of what the men do on a grading scale is not equal in my book.

  15. Nate- Why are you assuming these female Marines like instagram more than any Marine Grunt? I am pretty sure the last thing on their minds in combat would be “where can I get tampons from” and you are pretty niave to assume they would “freeze up” or give two craps about a popularity contest? Are you really that ignorant?

  16. This is ridiculous and a complete insult to the young men that become infantry. This isn’t the movie g.I. Jane and its sickening to know that this is what our leaders are letting happen. My unit lost four female marines that were not Infantry. It was hard on all of us that were 0311’s. They were used for vehicle entry n exit points to pat down other females. Think about how hard it is going to be if females become infantry number one but what about all the sexual misconduct that may happen. I love being a marine and its a honor to be a grunt. I just don’t think anyone higher up should even let this happen.

  17. So actually there are only three graduating this class out of 15 that started for a 20% graduation rate. What was the rate for the male Marines that went through the class? And since the other three females are unidentified, are they full duty and planning on graduating with the ITB class they just went through or with the next class like the one with the stress fracture?

  18. Unfortunately, integragtion will probably happen. Not to increase our lethality or for any other purpose than to further this social agenda. It will make us weaker. The standards will remain separated and thus, that alone will do more damage to cohesiveness and to the product than anything else. No one seems to be thinking about the “after” when these girls go to the fleet. Anyone can pass a class or school, not everyone can live the lifestyle. Being in the infantry, just like any other MOS is a lifestyle that is harsh and unforgiving. The majority of males that are infantrymen dont last longer than one enlistment. Dont forget what Gen Barrow said (you can youtube his testimony from 1991) that its not the senators or generals that will deal with the problems associated with integration of females into the infantry, it will be the sergeants and lieutenants, gunnys and captains. None of the advocates of this will serve or have their children serve in this area of the military and none will advocate to include women into the selective service, at least not willingly.

  19. Congrats Marines! I can’t believe the negative comments. Last I checked it was about earning that EGA that made us Brothers and Sisters not the MOS. For or against this new initiative, how about supporting your fellow Marines. They didn’t create this policy; they simply accomplished the task that was assigned to them. They proved themselves up to this point as any other 0311 has. Proving themselves in combat will come when it is their turn, again, just like any other grunt at this point in their careers.

  20. Semper Fi to 4 women with more balls than all of the “Nates, Dans, Tylers & Bobs”, spewing negative, stereotype comments on this page.

    So PROUD of you four….THESE GIRLS ARE ON FIRE!!!

  21. Pingback: The Infantrywomen of Instagram #inyourface | Carrying the Gun

  22. So, what if I was told by an instructor that none of the above females actually completed the final hike in the allotted amount of time?

  23. Congratulations Warriors!

    For all you “nay” sayers and supporters; let’s keep our eye on the ball. This is a milestone for woman and the Marine Corps as a whole in the fact that this provides commanders additional assets in the field. I for one have advocated that woman; strong woman (physically and mentally), CAN complete Infantry Training.

    That being said, no one can ever tell you how an “individual” will react in combat, male or female. This is why TRAINING is so important. This instills discipline, cohesion and a warrior ethos.

    Warrior ethos – this is a culture that we Marines have built in everything we do! I don’t care what your MOS is we all have a job to do… “win our National battles.” Bean, Bullets and Band-Aids, without this support grunts, you go nowhere. We now need to support these four Marines and help them become proud examples of what the Marine Corps seeks in our young PFC’s and LCpl’s; to become great leaders. Improvise, adapt and overcome!

    For our new four Infantry Marines I offer this piece of advice: Be a “Fire and Forget” smart weapon for your commanders.

    oorah! and Semper Fidelis.

    p.s. don’t come back at me with, “you probably weren’t a grunt.” I spent three years in Iraq, not a couple of seven month deployments, 3 YEARS.

  24. D Ward, I’m interested in hearing about it. no one wants to discuss how they didn’t actually meet the male standard. Don’t worry, it will come out.

  25. Gregory Griffin on

    Congrats Marines on this historic accomplishment! Now please give them the MOS of 0311 that they earned just like the rest of us O3’s. Look we get it, we all don’t have positive views on the topic. I don’t see any comments about the male Marines that weekly drop from training do not meeting the requirement. Bottom line the name Marine was earned so was the MOS 03

  26. Congratulations, but I don’t remember infantry training being very hard. Infantry school for officers is rigorous, but the enlisted school is mostly weapons training and humps to ranges.

    I never got to the end of range 400 and said, “well at least it wasn’t as bad as Geiger”.

  27. Yeah Tyler I’m glad you got out when you did as well. The DoD is better off without you. You say having women will make us weaker? So will having a single mindset that combat roles should only be left to the guys. Going to the beginning of time there have been women who fought in wars. You think the Soviets during WWII fought off the German onslaught with only guys? There were tons of women in combat roles and often times they were better shots than the guys as well!

  28. what the articles about this “accomplishment” didn’t report was that 2 major training events were DROPPED from the ITBn 03xx course before these women enrolled… the 5 mile timed-event rucksack run with full “battle rattle” & a 20 mile (not km) hump with full combat load of 100+ lbs that was a timed event as well… also, even tho’ these women did complete the “new” version of ITBn & were required to perform 3 pullups & the minimum crunch/run time as males, their PFT scores are still skewed since the amount of pullups to max is ONLY 8 for females & the run time to max is significantly higher than the 18 min for males… CFT scoring is different as well… also, what these women don’t realize is that the FMF infantry rgts are MUCH tougher than ITBn in training, OPS, PT, forced marches (humps), etc… having said all of this, I do APPLAUD these women for enduring the new ITBn course! Semper Fi, ladies!


    Sgt. D

    2nd Plt.




    1st. Lt. Guy R. Ferris Jr. Commanding.


  30. Being a Grunt with 2/6 for over 4 years I congratulate these ladies for graduating…However, on the ground when the s&*t hits the fan and you’re out of rounds and you have to rely on bayonette’s and hand to hand what than??? 90% of WM’s (Women Marines) polled said with out a doubt they didn’t want integration but the politicians went ahead any way…Being a Grunt means strapping 80 lbs on your back and humping 25 miles out and 25 miles back with 3 days in the field in between….trench foot, no showers, no bathrooms, and when these ladies drop out of the hump will they be getting the silver bullet as well??? I’ve been on a hump from the atlantic ocean to the pacific ocean…43 miles in two days with 80 lbs on our backs…100’s of Men fell out…It will be to much for women…Maybe 1 out of 1000 ladies will make it…if u think I’m wrong than you’re not a Marine Grunt!!!If the ladies want to be killers they can get an xbox game but going to the fleet in an infantry unit will eat them up…Sure this is all honky dory right now but lets see what happens when little Susie gets shot at…..All of this congrats and Hoorahs??? Are u kidding me folks….these are our daughters, sisters, grand daughters….theres a reason women have never been in combat and it needs to stay that way…

  31. Being a Plt Sgt I will also say this….If one of these ladies are unlucky enough to land in my platoon I will make sure they will be ready for combat personally….If they can pass my tests than I will take all this back and fully back the future integration of women…Don’t hold your breath though!!!

  32. For Luis Verdugo – WTF do you mean “pogues?” FYI, you are a former Grunt. Where are you now? Obviously, no longer a Marine….additionally, you, as a Grunt would not be able to have done anything you did without those “pogues.” Get that through your brain housing group. Without motor-t, your ass would have been walking AND humping all of your shit.

    Without admin – guess who wouldn’t have been getting paid or promoted……and in your case, probably reduced. Without those supply “pogues,” where do you think you got your deuce gear from or your meals?

    Think about what you say before you open your suck. Don’t embarrass yourself any further. Us “pogues” do what we do every single day to support your dumb ass……be a little grateful and appreciative of us as we are of you….

  33. Someone needs to square 0311 Rambo away. She was recently seen and photographed by another Marine in civies at the airport with her National Defense Ribbon and Sharpshooter Badge above her right breast pocket. Un-friggin-sat Boot !

  34. And for all of you pussy’s who are whining because the PFT and CFT are different, stop your whimpering. Men and women are built differently. When you have all of the men in the Marine Corps pass the male standards, then you can expect the females to pass it. As long as there are men who cant do 3 pull ups and who cant run the 3 miles in less than 30-32 minutes, I have seen, then don’t expect a woman to do it. Matter of fact, there are women who can out-run a lot of you. Stop being little babies and accept the fact that women and men are different, have different muscle mass and bone mass. You’re so back-asswards. If a woman was built like you, you’d be calling them transvestites, lesbians, whatever…..but because they are feminine, smaller than you, less strong than you, you’re whining about how they can’t meet the male standards? Hell, some of you can’t meet the male standard!! What does that make you? Women??

    I am tired of every male Marine whining. OMG! Really??

    Get over it……

  35. And for Cpl Alex – If, in fact, that did occur at the airport, I can almost guarantee you that whoever you say seen her there and photographed her in inappropriate civilian attire, didn’t have the balls to go up and correct the Marine. Right?

    You are an NCO in the Marine Corps. That should be your job. Correct, don’t protect. But then again, everyone can talk shit on this blog but has no balls to do the right thing in real life….

    Don’t get on this blog and complain about it when you can’t police it…….may as well turn in your Cpl chevrons…

  36. @ Marine0….first off “Once a Marine, always a Marine”… were you not told this? Or maybe you were at the motor-pool that day. Secondly, I served in the grunts 8 years with 6th Marines and later 5th Marines as an 0311, then went to weapons and served as an 0341, then later cross trained as a 31. We humped every-friggin-where the only time motor T came to our aid was when they brought the buses to take us to the wing to fly somewhere or to get on ship….otherwise it was the black Cadillacs baby!

  37. @ MarineO – You seriously need a dose of Pamprin or anger management there MarineO. I assume O is for ovulating. LOL Don’t take life so serious or better yet, ….get one.

  38. Wanna-be Cpl Alex – yes, I said “wanna-be a Cpl.” Your comments are not those of a Marine NCO. You obviously do not understand your promotion warrant nor the Marine NCO Creed. Get a life? How about getting a seat in the next Cpl’s Course?? You need it…..

  39. LCpl Alex – I see you addressed the motor t MOS, how about supply? How about admin? How about cooks? The reality is, you couldn’t be a grunt without all of the above. Once you grow up, get a few more years under your belt, then you will realize that you need other Marines and it’s not about “Semper I” all the time….

    Grunts are not the only true Marines…

  40. We can’t punish these Marines for going through the training, someone had to be the Guinea pig. I am a female and for sure their lives are not going to be easy. All this back and forth hate isn’t necessary people. For all of you Marines (active or not) we are all Marines it’s a true family so no need to hate. I still work for the Corps as a civilian now and it’s sad to see the disparities going on. Lets band together and help these ladies through their career to become better Marines and great leaders. no one ever knows what they are going to do a combat situation until they are in one. Some of you are right they may freeze up, but they may be great. In the end everyone is on the same team so MarineO, be a good leader and encourage teaching those 14 leadership traits you learned and not hate fellow Marines.

  41. Sgt P – I am glad to see some NCO’s today who are still professional. Others….well, I won’t comment on that. Life as a female Marine has been and will always be harder. Ever since you stepped on the yellow footprints, you are in constant “prove yourself” mode. Everytime you check into a new duty station, you are in a constant “re-prove yourself” mode. Instead of a male Marine welcoming a female Marine into the Marine Corps with the attitude of “She’s my sister” and she earned the same Eagle, Globe and Anchor as me, it’s always a hate issue….so frustrating and so de-motivating. The only reason a female would fail in combat is because she has to deal with the nasty male chauvinistic attitude that surrounds her everyday.

  42. LOL!!! really? you think ITB is hard and challenging? LMFAO!!

    Welcome to the GRUNT CORPS, this is what one of my seniors told us, ITB yeah right boot…that’s a vacation…Real Grunts are made in the Infantry Fleet, why dont we really put these WMs in the suck and try the test again – and then see if they love to instagram themselves afterwards.

    ITB…ppfff what a joke..

    No wonder good Marines get out and the turds stay in.

    @Nate – Well put brother.

  43. MarineO, is the exact reason why this whole thing is a joke.

    MarineO, is the exact reason this debate is stupid. See how females over react? imagine her in the fleet, let along as an INFANTRY NCO, over reacting again over everything, no common sense, just a YES-Marine..

    and anyone could pass ITB, that’s what these “bamf” female Marines prooved, nothing more, nothing less..

    like i said, the real test is the Infantry Fleet.

    And also, no wonder females cant pass IOC, that’s ACTUAL grunt life in a short haul, imagine the longer one…

    Again….in my opinion STILL NOT GRUNTS…..

  44. Pingback: Procrastination Station: Reporter Falls on her Ass + Snakes on a Windshield! « 103.3 AMP RADIO

  45. @Grunt Corps – If you were in a constant state of having to prove yourself in the way that female Marines are, you would probably take many of the comments on this blog in the same way as MarineO. It is obvious that the performance of female Marines in the Corps is never going to be enough until we all grow penises. 1996 – the run was changed to from 1.5 to 3 miles. Well they still aren’t doing enough. Now the standard is being changed from flex arm hang to pull ups. Still not enough b/c they can get 100 points for 8 pull ups. Integration into ITB – not enough because it isn’t difficult. What is going to be enough for female Marines to get respect in this Corps? Like MarineO said – you all can talk shiz on this blog but I guarantee you that many of you wouldn’t have the balls to say 1/2 of this to the face of a female officer or SNCO. The passion behind the comments of MarineO and other female Marines is because of years of not being told that we are not doing enough, not because of PMS or any of that other BS that men think women go through. Being a good Marine is not strictly based on physical attributes. I know many shitbirds who could run a 300 PFT but didn’t know anything about their MOS or Marine Corps leadership. It is a whole Marine concept and anyone that strictly hangs on PFT, CFT, and completion forced marches are probably lacking in anything intellectual.

  46. Holy Sh*t , I hate to think that some of you posers are actually Marines. Just proves that not everyone is intelligent. I congratulate these young ladies, they accomplished a lot. I don’t care if it is related to their male counterparts or not. They did good. Now, does this mean they will ever be in a Grunt unit? I don’t think it will happen anytime soon. This was simply a test. They knew that going in. They proved they could do something under duress. That is the first step in being a grunt.

    We will see how this pans out down the road. For now..cheers to the ladies.

  47. Excellent, Super, killer,Fantastic, splendid. Wow, WTF, get the fuck out of here. like. What?. Yep get er done. sweet! that’s whats up..

  48. Congratulations Marines! This is truly going to go into the history books, but don’t let it carry you away. Bottom line is, you are Marines. Marines look out for each other. Marines are bonded together like no other. There will be negative and positive reactions, but always remember the bottom line. We are all basic riflemen. We are all Warriors. What you ladies have done is just become better trained, hard charging warriors. You are now less of a “burden” than what some males would refer to you as. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to have to prove yourself to be just as much a Marine as they are, so keep kicking ass, but don’t become one. Semper Fi, Lady Leathernecks. OOH-RAH!

  49. Ok. First fear of males commenting on here: many women who have deployed simply took oral birth control for 56 straight weeks without a weekly break each month, meaning no monthly menses and thus no need for tampons. This a safe option and they had no side effects afterwards.
    Second fear: under duress the women have the same survival instincts as men, and have the ability to use the grab and drag handle on the vests.
    Third fear: there are not enough healthy males volunteering for service. Thses women are needed! Surely you as professionals can control yourselves not to assault your battle buddies?
    You are Marines! Supposedly the best? So be the best and welcome your sisters-in-arms! Lead the way for the others branches of service! And drop the name calling. It doesn’t do you proud.

  50. It seems to me that there exists, particularly within the public sector, the idea that gender is only a social construct, and that equality of gender (if, by this logic, there is such a thing) in all aspects is an achievable goal. This idea, however, is not based in reality. Reality is that there is no such thing as equality in any respect. Diversity does exist, and where diversity exists, equality cannot. These ladies are exceptions to the rule, and I fear that an extrapolation of their sucess here to whole population of females who wish to be Marines would be detrimental. But however detrimental, the war drums of equality beat on.

  51. Someone in the know on

    “You fuckin’ people. You have no idea how to defend a nation. All you did was weaken a country today, (insert political group, advocacy group, unqualified persons with no experience in the infantry here). That’s all you did. You put people’s lives in danger. Sweet dreams, (insert political group, advocacy group, unqualified persons with no experience in the infantry here).”

  52. WM Officer clearly your argument stating the differences between the PFT and CFT for men and women should not be the issue is typical female banter about demanding equality in title without having to do the work.
    Here’s the bottom line girls: if you want to be seen as equal to the men, you have to do the equal work. You say that some women can run down the street faster than a few men? Well, that’s great! EQUALIZE THE PFT! Men are sick and tired of hearing women beat the drum day and night about being equal without having to do the work. You want respect? Equalize the standard! The bottom line is this: a 300 PFT for a female is still only a 2nd class PFT for men by the scoring standard. WHERE’s the fairness in that??? That’s why the women fail at IOC. The men have to show up with high first class male PFT’s to pass. A female with her scrawny little female PFT score aint gonna cut it. And it’s 3 months. Almost the entire time in the field. And there’s no way out of the 15 mile 81 mortar hump with 80 pound pack. There’s no short special route for the girls. There’s no step stool when you do the o-course and there’s no little special area for girls hygeine in the field. Stop demanding equality from the men until you’re willing to do the 20 pull-ups and 18 minute 3 miles. Your ridiculous and pompous banter declaring your “right” to equality while then spewing how you don’t feel like you should do the pull-ups or run times like the men make you a flaming hypocrite and leader from the rear. You don’t get to pick and choose what parts you want to be equal. It’s an all or nothing deal.

  53. @Al – so you are saying that the “standard” for men is 20 pull ups and the 18 minute 3 mile? No sir, that is not the standard – that is perfection. Do you believe that an infantryman who scores a 3rd class is less of a Marine? Or should still be treated with respect as an NCO, SNCO, officer? The Marine Corps did a horrible job at the transition to pull ups – they put the policy in place before conducting any substantial testing, which is why it is being pushed back for another year. If I had a say in anything, it would be to change the pull ups and the flexed arm hang to push ups. What many men fail to remember is that female Marines do not establish the standards – the male leadership of the Marine Corps establish the standards. The standards are set by the leadership, therefore a woman that meets the current standards should receive the respect that she has earned as an officer or enlisted. Additionally, as I stated before, the PFT and CFT are one portion of being a Marine and leader and always seems to be the one that men get the most wrapped up about. There are Marines who can run a 300 but can’t lead a horse to water. Please don’t refer back to the hygiene issue – its old. I believe any woman by the age of 18 knows how to take care herself body in any situation.

  54. @Al – first off, who on earth made it a “man’s world” to where we have to prove ourselves and be “equal” to you anyways? Why is everything always about a “male standard?” Whatever…..

    So many male Marines can’t run from here to the next office, so many male Marines have dun-lop disease where their belly “dun-lopped” over their belt, so many male Marines can’t shoot like a woman can shoot. How do you explain that? Both genders, male and female have their own things that they can and cannot do. Most men can’t do the flex arm hang itself. Everyone just needs to understand that men and women are born differently and built differently. Neither of our faults. We dont get to choose what gender we are when we are born. The women in the Marine Corps should be at least given the respect due them for the very fact that they went through Marine Corps Bootcamp and met the standards set for them. As WM Officer stated, we dont make the rules, the men have made the rules. I am quite sure that if the leadership came along and changed the distance on the run for the males from 3.0 miles to 1.5 miles, men wouldnt complain about that at all, right? We, as Marines, do what we are told to do. We meet the standards set. With the pull ups, there have been some serious injuries with the women attempting to do these. Women have never done them. Men have always done them. Men were afforded years and years of kipping. Women are not. So, from zero pull ups to straight dead hangs? Really? If the whole point of this is to get the women out of the Marine Corps because of the drawdown, that may be just what happens. I just cannot believe that in America, we are fighting each other instead of taking care of each other. I would hate to be forward deployed with a man who has this attittude about women. I’d fear for my life, not by the enemy, but my own fellow Marine. Someone who is suppossed to be my brother….

  55. Women Marines

    Way, way back in the 1950’s in Texas, I was just a little sassy bit of a girl. Because of my environment, I knew the basics of being a powerful person was to be, in this order: a boy, white skinned, and, (diminishing needs here) a good football player, blond-haired, blue-eyed, and a Baptist. Other than that Baptist thing, I was none of those things; but, being from a 3rd generation military family, I aspired to “greatness”. It was not until I was around 12 years old that I began to comprehend that I lacked the male genitalia and the right skin color to go to the Air Force Academy. It didn’t matter that I could run faster than any boy in my class nor that I could do more pull-ups on the monkey bars, It didn’t matter that I was just plain quicker and smarter than just about anyone in my class either, even though I had to sit at the back of the class with the other “dark-skinned” kids.

    I have to laugh at one of the male Marines interviewed for their perspective on the first three women, ever to finish the Marine Infantry Training. He said that it didn’t really matter because if they would never make it on the battle field because girls didn’t like to get dirty and messy for days on end. Hmm, every man in my family who ever went to war, always complained of the physical deprivations they had to endure. They never said how cool it was to be dirty and messy for days on end. I did not know that the Marines actually “liked” being dirty and stinky and that made them better soldiers. Perhaps, in the interest of continuing the Marine Corp. tradition of great warriors we should stop providing showers in the men’s camps.

  56. Congratulations Marines. You will, like other Marines on point before you, take fire first. Keep your heads up. Another thing: please don’t F-up. There are plenty of ignoramuses out there that would like nothing more than to see you F-up. You have a responsibility, like all Marines active and EAS’d, to honor and nurture the hard-earned reputation and legacy of the Corps. As a male Marine, I’m proud to say we’re the toughest professional warriors on the planet. A standard is a standard. If you’re threatened by WMs because they can outrun, out-pull, out-shoot, outmaneuver, or otherwise leave you feeling insecure: take my advice and up your game – don’t bring down a fellow Marine. Study the IDF and tell me women can’t serve combatant rolls. Semper Fi.

  57. WMO: Perception is reality. As long as there are much much easier standards for the women that allow for 60% less pull ups to max a score, leading to higher cutting scores for less work only leads to resentment from the male Marines who have to do more. You cannot argue this point. I am shocked but not surprised that your solution is for the men to deal with it vice proactively pushing for equality in scoring. Then 100% of the Marines, male or female will be equally judged. Your primary argument is that there exist fat and slow male Marines. No one is arguing that fact. My question to you is, “why wouldn’t you want an equal testing standard?” To say you don’t want one is sexist and feeds my argument.

  58. Al is 100% correct on this issue. If you allow women into the ranks, they have to meet and EXCEED the male standards in order to even be considered entry into the infantry.

    The reason I said EXCEED is for the fact that they must demonstrate that they could be competitive for promotions and have the ability to lead from the front. I’m a Army Infantryman and anyone performing the bare minimum did NOT get promoted or even stayed on the line in some instances.

    You need a good number of female troops scoring with the best of the men or at least be in the top half of the unit. There is no recognition of the differences between men and women in combat jobs. The women want in and they should be allowed in, but judged strictly as infantry troops, not as a man or a woman.

    Infantry is a career field, not just a school. Passing a course does not make you a leader, it is your performance against your peers. Resentment will grow within the ranks if women doing less on the PFT, but scored higher, are allowed to advance in the infantry. There is a reason for why no women have passed the O course because it is heavily skewed towards physical ability, where women will struggle to succeed at.

    The more I hear about the Marine Infantry course (enlisted), the more skeptical I get about it and I suspect that the course was not ran as hard as it could have been. We’ll hear more about it.

  59. Lewis, USMC 88-95 on

    Congratulations ladies! What you did was no small accomplishment. You proved that you could complete something that only men had before you. You should be proud. I would like to personally say “Semper Fi”.

    Now, if you value the lives of your fellow Marines, listen to what I have to say. Whether it’s boot camp or infantry training, special allowances have been made for you because of your gender. The US Marine Corps has chosen to alter it’s standards so you may join our ranks because we feel you have something valuable to offer. Welcome to the family. We are proud to call you our sisters. But, as part of your service please realize that by trying too hard, you could potentially be putting our lives in danger.

    I served in Desert Storm with women and I think I can speak intelligently on the subject. Ladies, nature made men and women different. Not better, not worse, just different. Speaking as a man, I can tell you that we have our strengths and our weaknesses. There are, of course, exceptions to ever rule. But, when lives are at stake, we don’t have the luxury of political correctness. The fact is that, even though some of you are capable of passing infantry training, even at men’s standards, and could make excellent infantry troops or even NCOs and Officers. The fact is, there just aren’t enough of you to take our place and let us go home. There are times and places where men and women should not mix and combat is one of them. So, that only leaves room for one gender on the battlefield and since there aren’t enough of you. We will just have to keep things as they are. As you know, some of men’s strengths make us more suited to perform the duties required in combat and other wartime situations. We tend to be stronger, faster and have more physical endurance. We also have certain mental and intellectual abilities that give us an edge. Ladies, you have your strengths also, and I’m not just talking about cleaning the house and taking care of the kids. There are plenty of MOSs where you can contribute plenty. There is a reason that men and women evolved as we have. We are supposed to be equal halves of the same whole. That’s why you should not be in, around or even near combat areas. Because although we may be strong and fast, the tiniest whiff of YOU, can stop us cold. It sounds like a joke but it isn’t. I’m being completely serious. Not only are we driven to seek you out for the purposes of procreation just as all other members of the animal kingdom do. We are also hard wired to protect you from danger and keep you from harm. I’m sure that’s why mother nature made us bigger, stronger, faster and ultimately more suited for combat. I can’t speak for all men. But I think I speak for most, when I say, “No amount of self discipline or sensitivity training can change the way we are built”.

    In a wartime environment, the fewer the distractions the better. I saw it when I went off to war. When women became part of the mix, men became distracted. Not all men, all the time, of course. I think I was able to keep my head in the game better than most. But, I WAS distracted. It’s 100% normal and I would worry if it weren’t true. These are the same basic instincts that have made our species the most dominant on the planet. Some might say women are the reason they became Marines in the first place.

    Ladies, there is plenty you can do to help us win. After all, that’s what we Marines do, we win. No matter what it takes. No matter the odds. We have only one goal in mind, to win. In order to achieve that goal, it takes more than just one Marine. It takes more than one platoon, squadron, battalion or air wing. It takes more than just land, sea or air oriented units. It takes a Corps, and from 1775 to today and long into the future we will continue keeping our nation safe from the forces that would see it destroyed. So, ladies, welcome to the United States Marine Corps. You have earned a title that cannot be taken away. For the rest of your lives you may proudly stand up and say, “I am a United States Marine”. Welcome aboard, and Semper Fi.

  60. Gents -I can totally understand the male side of this regarding the issue of SOI (ITB) cutting out certain events so the women could pass. From what I am told, by an instructor that was there, this is true. This is the problem I have :

    Women DID not have anything to do with standards being cut or reduced for this!!! Men will never understand that there isn’t a female Commandant or a female SgtMajor of the Marine Corps in DC. There are males. Males are the ones in leadership positions who are making these decisions, not females. As stated in many posts, we follow the rules and standards set in place by male leadership. No one ever asks female leadership their opinion or what they think about any of the changes occurring in the Marine Corps. I can understand the frustration but don’t take it out on females. We don’t make the rules.

  61. Pingback: 3 female Marines make it through infantry training — OFFduty+

  62. Pingback: – HISTORIC PHOTO: The first female Marines ever to complete infantry training | Did You Check First?

  63. MarineO: your initial arguments at the beginning of this post pertained to physical capability so that is what a majority if the retort posters commented on. If your new argument in response is that “well, men made all the rules! It’s the man’s fault!” lacks the depth and maturity expected of someone in a leadership position (which I am assuming the ‘O’ stands for in your title). As a leader, you should be beating the drum for equality in testing. If you are not doing this and simply “following the man’s rules” gives you no right to complain if you’re not willing to speak up. Where are the women leaders to beat the drum for equal testing standards??? All the women scream for equality, but I see none who are speaking out for standardized testing. This simply reflects empty leadership and builds additional lack of respect from male Marines. For example, there were several female officers who voluntarily conducted a male PFT. They completed between 15-20 (sometimes more) pull-ups and ran at a high speed. These women were admired and respected a great deal by their male counterparts, including infantry officers and enlisted. Why? Because they TRAINED ON EQUAL GROUND. let me say it again, they chose to TRAIN ON EQUAL GROUND. However, the 99% of the remaining women Marines don’t want to put forth the effort to compete on equal ground. It takes a lot to compete on equal ground voluntarily. If you are not voluntarily doing this instead of “waiting for the men to tell you” as you stated, then you are wrong. I am ALL FOR EQUALITY. But don’t scream for it if you’re not willing to actually do it. I’ll say it again, PERCEPTION IS REALITY. if ITB has removed the difficult training to grease the way for women entrants is wrong. Regardless of who made the rule, male or female. You should be screaming from the hilltops to equalize all testing, schools (OCS, MCRD) and CFT/PFT. To not do this, simply feeds the perception from men that women do less work, but make higher scores (8 pullups vice 20 and much much slower running times). Why aren’t women angry about this inequality?

  64. @ Al – I am not whining that “men made all the rules!” I am simply stating that all men hate the female Marines because our rules are different, yet we are not the ones who made the rules. You need to take a step back and think about it. If a female was just as strong as you are, you would then call her a “he-she”, a lesbian or a transvestite. Men cannot stomach a woman out-doing them in any arena. Their ego’s would be hurt..:( If a woman’s lats and biceps were bigger than yours, you’d react with the same thing….”she must be a dude.”

    No matter what women do in this world, men will always think we are inferior. Doesn’t matter. You may be strong physically, but we are smarter mentally. Strength only goes so far in this world. When that’s gone, where are you??

    I’m done entertaining this argument. I have better things to do than argue with a male chauvinist…

  65. MarineO, you are sadly mistaken. No one “hates women”. We want 100% equality to an equal standard to be a Marine. Why is that chauvenism? That is equality in my book. Start walking your talk and men will respect you, including infantry Marines.

  66. Good job ladies. You passed the training, I say you deserve the mos. Fellow grunts, get over yourselves. We used to say we couldnt use gays, blacks, or women in the military at all. Well guess what? It happened anyway. And its working just fine. And now this happened. And we will find a way to make this work just fine. Get over it.

  67. I say this is very good. Women want equality, that is fine. 50 percent of combat troops on the front lines should be women. And 50 percent of the soldiers killed in war should be women. After all, that would be true EQUALITY, and that is what you women have demanded, right? Oh and by the way, why aren’t you women demanding that women should also be forced to register for Selective Service (the draft)?

    Feminists are such hypocrites. They only want equality when it benefits them.

  68. So funny how being a female in the Marine Corps gets more flack than being homosexual. Wow. I have yet to see one blog going crazy over DADT being lifted. No, women in the Marine Corps seems to be a more high profile issue…


  69. Some cultures make their women sit in the back seat of the car, others make them cover their face all the time in public, and some slice up their genitals. Ours… we draft them for combat and send them on the front lines. Not a country I think of when I hear “God, Country, Corps.”

    Too bad the Corps is overcome with homosexuals and WMs commenting their “congrats” to these 4 wookies.

  70. John Rambo, you have uncovered the true meaning of feminism: a female supremacist movement agitating for the further privileging of the already most privileged person in the history of the Earth (the white western woman) without any responsibility or expectation, all at the cost of men and women who desire to maintain traditional (i.e. functional) lifestyles and communities. Feminists say that feminism is about equality, but it is obvious that they would HATE equality with every fiber of their being.

  71. At least homosexuals are usually competent males and able to keep their perversion private. Women are both incompetent and flagrant, as well as a general nuisance in most of the service, even in the office and all girls barracks.

  72. @ Earl – Sounds like you have a problem with the country you’re living in. Maybe you should leave….

    It also sounds like you are either a homosexual male OR you have been turned down a lot by women.

    Oh, and find some other nickname for female Marines. The one you used is soooo old.

    So sorry that more is expected of you as a man because you are stronger. If you can’t handle it, say something to someone. Don’t be hating women because of it. A man whining is so unattractive…

  73. The only people cheering these women on are other women. Pathetic. Bunch of pathetic women trying to kill their boyfriends/sons so they can “feel good” that a woman is a marine. Too many people thinking war and combat is a game. America is a degenerate little country like most of the West these days.

  74. Congratulations to the three that actually finished! You’ve proven that 20% of the 15 best women in the Marine Corps can do what 50% of any Joe-shmoe can. I hope your leg mends well “Rambo”.

  75. To you four trailblazers-

    Congratulations. You know you will have to show that you are more qualified, mentally and physically, than your male contemporaries. I am proud of the Corps. I expect that the Corps will be loyal to you, as it has been to me. I was, and still am, an eccentric, an innovator with many game changing accomplishments.

    In 1953, as a young Marine Officer, I stated to others that the U.S. was wasting the talents of women. Look at the Soviets, many women doctors, scientists, engineers, and other professionals. (The word “feminist” was unknown.) My gaffe (a politically unacceptable truth.)

    In Officers Basic School in Quantico, 1952-3, I could not have passed your current ITB physical standards. Later, in the field in Japan, erect, I was the target of an unknown and unheard sniper, whose windage was off by about 15-20 feet. About 12-20 rounds hit the dirt, in a tight pattern. Instructing my rifle platoon in moving as fire teams under fire, I continued supervising the training exercise. I did not flinch or move, until the members were safely under cover. I then calmly took cover. I was then 2/E/2/4 Marines, but had no final security clearance. It had been withdrawn, and a Naval Intelligence investigation of me as a possible security risk was in progress. After serving as a tactics instructor, and supervisor of the “3 day war”, in 2 ITR, Camp Pendleton, and receiving a reserve commission, my final secret clearance was restored, while I was in law school.

    Much later, divorced, I dated an Alaska female state law enforcement officer, who had received a commendation for rescuing, while in, and from the sea, a fishermen in distress in the stormy sea. She also had arrested an Eskimo, on the tundra outside Barrow, for taking a caribou out of season, and had him carry the carcass back to her truck, at her request (without threat). I knew that she was physically and mentally capable to serve as a Marine. And physically, she was much more fit, and stronger, than I was. She instead attended a seminary and became a priest.

    Retired in 1972, without pay but with other benefits, and placed on the retired list, I remained eligible for recall to active duty, until age 70, in January, 2000. My last duty, as a Marine Reserve Major, before retiring, was C.O., Composite Company 17-3, USNR, 17th Naval District, in Fairbanks, Alaska. (Nearly all were Navy reservists, including a Navy Captain.)

    Again, Congratulations.

  76. Well, well, well…. Girl Marines no longer have to do pull-ups, “indefinitely” based on MC Times. Word on the street is that too many of the girls couldn’t even do 1 pull-up, so now the rules for girls remain nice and slow run times and a dangle from the pull-up bar. Equality, my a$$.

  77. Well you graduated but that’s about all. Women in *general* do not have the numbers to fill a platoon. You will always find a few exceptional people, like these 3, who can pass anything – but at the end of the day there are not enough qualified women to fill a squad.

    Also ITS (I’m old school 78′-82 (Bco 1/5) is one thing, but going to the fleet is a completely different matter. I was part of FTS, essentially “OJT” for 3 months in my unit before going to ITS to get my 0351 MOS. ITS was a skate compared to being in the fleet. Going to the field, let alone combat, on a normal infantry training schedule routine will wear on you like a bad rug.

    Congrats that you passed a 60 day class, but I don’t think you pass 60 days of being in the fleet – and even if you miraculously pulled off this feat, you would surely not be able to do a full year.

    I don’t have a problem with women in tanks or arty, handling ordinance is not the same as back breaking humping day in day out, so go for that all day long. The infantry is a male dominated space for killing and will always be that way.

Reply To Al Cancel Reply