In Brief

Four Women Complete Marine Infantry Training

Female marine in Afghanistan
Faria Jalala, a linguist for the U.S. Marine Corps Female Engagement Team 11-2, Task Force Leatherneck, speaks to civilians in Delaram, Nimroz province, Afghanistan on March 14, 2012. Marine combat roles are currently not open to women, but the Crops is pilot-testing infantry training in consideration of widening female Marines' opportunities. (Image credit: Lance Cpl. Catie D. Edwards)

Four female Marines have become the first women in history to complete the Corps' infantry training.

Business Insider reports that the Pfc. Harlee "Rambo" Bradford and three other women all passed the infantry course, considered among the toughest training in the U.S. military. The women, part of an initial class of 15 volunteers, are participating in a Marine Corp study to test the opening of the male-only infantry to female Marines.

Bradford will graduate with a later class, as she must await the healing of a stress fracture before completing the final physical fitness test of the training. None of the women is headed into infantry, however – because they are part of a study, they will all return to non-combat specialties for now.

Infantry training is notoriously strenuous, with one of the toughest tasks being a 12.5 mile (20 kilometer) hike through the woods conducted at a near-jogging pace of 4 miles per hour (6 km/hr) while carrying about 90 lbs (40 kilograms) of gear.

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Stephanie Pappas
Live Science Contributor

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.