Marine Corps to have 1st female infantry officer

(ABC NEWS) -- For the first time in its nearly 250-year history, the United States Marine Corps will have a female infantry officer after she graduates from an infantry officer course on Monday, a U.S. official confirmed.

The Marine's completion of the course was first reported by The Washington Post. Her identity is not yet public.

The Marine Corps Training and Education Command specified that "four female Marine officers have volunteered and attempted Infantry Officer Course" after ground combat specialties were opened to women in April 2016, but that the officer graduating Monday is the first to pass it.

In 2015, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter made the decision to open all combat roles to women, ending a ban on their service on the front lines. At the time, the Marine Corps formally advised that women should continue to be prevented from working in combat units, despite recommendations from the Army, Navy, Air Force and U.S. Special Operations Command that they be permitted to serve.

"We are a joint force, and I have decided to make a decision which applies to the entire force," explained Carter in 2015.

Earlier that year, two female soldiers became the first women to graduate from Army Ranger training camp but were not immediately permitted to serve in a Ranger regiment as the decision on combat roles had yet to be made.

© 2017 ABC News


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