Three Female Marines Make History Graduating

Three Female Marines Make History Graduating From Infantry Course

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(AP) Three female US Marines marched into history as the first women to ever to endure and pass the Marine Corps Infantry Training Battalion Course.

Earlier this year, the Pentagon lifted the ban on women serving in combat jobs, but each of the service branches is developing how this might be accomplished.

The marine course includes a grueling 12-mile march with an 80-pound pack as well as a variety of combat fitness tests such as timed combat shuttle runs, timed ammunition container lifts and tests that simulate running under combat fire.

At total of 15 women began the enlisted course with 254 men in September. It wasn't immediately clear exactly how many male Marines completed the course to graduation on Thursday.

The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps are looking at the standards required for serving in battlefront jobs such as infantry, armor and elite commando positions. They have until Jan. 1, 2016, to open as many jobs as possible to women, and to explain why if they decide to keep some closed.

The Associated Press reports the women completed the rigorous 59-day course and met the same test standards as the men, said Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Geraldine Carey.

The common requirements for men and women for each job would be based on specific tasks. Military officials have said the standards will not be lowered in order to bring women into any combat posts.

The women are Pvt. 1st Class Julia Carroll, 18, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, who is entering a school for signal intelligence training; Pvt. 1st Class Cristina Fuentes Monternegro, 25, of Coral Springs, Fla., who will study to become an aviation mechanic; and Pvt. 1st Class Katie Gorz, 19, of St. Paul, Minn., who is going to study logistics.

A fourth female marine also completed the course, but an injury will prevent her from graduating with her fellow troops on Thursday.

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