Oct. 3, 2012 @ 2:49 PM _
1:15AM EST October 3. 2012 - QUANTICO, Va. — It was 10 a.m., and the Marines trudging along the road bordered by thick Virginia woods had been up for seven hours already.
Their uniforms were soaked with sweat, and their faces showed signs of the pain in their muscles. Their day was far from over.
The demanding training was a typical first day in the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course except for one thing: For the first time, two women were part of the class.
“The women are expected to do everything that the men do,” says Marine Col. Todd Desgrosseilliers, who commands the organization responsible for basic Marine officer and infantry training. “We haven’t changed anything.”
Women have been steadily moving into many ranks previously barred to them, living at forward bases, flying combat aircraft and serving on submarine crews. Women remain barred from the infantry and other combat-arms specialties, but for the first time are being allowed to enter the Marines infantry officer training.