History was made this week when the military welcomed women for the first time into the infantry marines. Based in Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, the infantry battalion received its new officers on Thursday.
According to CNN, the three women will serve in the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment. Marines spokesman 1st Lt. John McCombs shared that they will specialize as a rifleman, machine gun, and mortar. The names of the women have not been released, so as to enable them to transition into their new roles.
Military.com shares that the Regiment has enlisted a small "leadership cadre" of senior women officers to help the newcomers better acclimate.
This move has been a long time in the making. Prior, women were not been allowed to participate in certain roles in the military, including infantry, armor, and reconnaissance. That all changed when Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that the military must open all combat positions to men and women beginning this month. "This means that as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before. They'll be able to drive tanks, give orders, lead infantry soldiers into combat," Carter said in December 2015. The decision now allows women to fill an estimated 220,000 jobs that were limited to men.
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