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Female Marines unload their rifles after a patrol with Afghan soldiers in Helmand province in June. The Marine Corps leadership has started an experiment to determine whether female Marine lieutenants have what it takes to become infantry officers and lead on the battlefield.
The second of two female Marines who tried to make it through the grueling Infantry Officer Course has failed due to medical reasons. The female volunteers are part of a study by the Marines to see if women can become ground combat leaders.
The Marines have not released the names of either woman, citing privacy concerns.
One of the women washed out earlier this month during the first day of the Infantry Officer Course at Quantico, Virignia, which lasts eighty six days and is considered the toughest training course in the Corps.
About 25 percent of the men failed on that first day as well.
The second woman Marine failed late last week, after she was unable to complete two required training events due to unspecified medical reasons. The Marine Corps said the woman, a 24-year-old second lieutenant from the South West, is being treated and is in good condition.
When she started the course the woman said this to the Marine Corps leadership: "I see it as an incredible opportunity that has never been open to women. I want to try and open up a door, maybe, for women after me. I don't know how far it will open, but I'm hoping to make a difference for women down the road."
So far, no other female Marines have signed up for the next course.