Marine Corps to open infantry training to women
The Marine Corps is getting ready to make a groundbreaking move for women in the military. For the first time in history, female students will attend the Infantry Officers Course, which prepares soldiers for direct combat roles, according to Marine Corps Times.
Until now, female Marines were not admitted to the program. Instead, they were enrolled in programs which got them ready for other roles such as logistics, personnel administration and aircraft maintenance.
The announcement comes as the military looks to expand career opportunities for female soldiers. In February, military officials announced women would be considered for 14,000 positions that were previously only available to men, Stars and Stripes reports.
Advocates say the change was a long time coming, especially since women were battle-tested from Iraq and Afghanistan when the distinction between the front line and noncombat roles was often not so clear. Still, around 240,000 positions in the military, mostly in special forces, remain closed to women.
Since the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 140 women have been killed and 860 have been wounded, according to CNN.