Four women to graduate from Marines’ infantry training

Four women are set to graduate this week from the Marine Corps’ enlisted infantry course, the Marine Corps Times reports.

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The completion of the infantry program is a milestone as the Marines and other services prepare to open up combat positions to women, where critics have questioned whether women can’t keep up physically with men.

Fifteen women began the 59-day course, and seven were remaining ahead of the difficult 12.5 mile march a little over a month into the training, which required hauling nearly 90 pounds of gear.

There were 246 men in the program at that point, according to Marine Times, though it was not clear how many completed it.

The services have been directed by the Pentagon to open up all combat roles to women by 2016, though they can request exemptions for certain positions.