FEATURED:

Marines congratulate first female infantry officer graduate

The U.S. Marine Corps celebrated Monday the first woman to graduate from its infantry officer course, releasing a video showing her in training.

ADVERTISEMENT

In the video, Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller congratulated her and the 87 other Marines who graduated the course Monday at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia.

“Well done. Proud of you. But that's just the first step,” Neller said in the video. “Now you're going to go out there in the operating forces and we're going to give you the responsibility for a platoon of infantry Marines, and do your very best to lead them.”

The Marines are not releasing the female lieutenant’s name at her request, according to a press release.

News broke last week that a female Marine would be graduating the course for the first time.

The Obama administration announced in December 2015 that it was opening all combat jobs to women. The Marines were the only military service to request to keep some jobs closed to women, a request that then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter overruled.

The Marines opened the infantry officer course to women in 2012 on an experimental basis as the services studied whether to open all jobs to women. Since then, more than 30 women have tried the course, with none completing it until Monday.

The class that graduated 88 Marines on Monday started in July with 131 Marines.

The woman who graduated will next head to 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, Calif., according to the release. 

“I am proud of this officer and those in her class‎ who have earned the infantry officer [military occupational specialty]," Neller said in the release. “Marines expect and rightfully deserve competent and capable leaders, and these [infantry officer course] graduates met every training requirement as they prepare for the next challenge of leading infantry Marines; ultimately, in combat.”