A female Marine graduated from the Corps’ grueling Infantry Officer Course on Monday, marking a historic feat as the first woman to earn the 0302 infantry officer military occupational specialty.
The woman, who has asked to keep her identity private, will now be assigned to the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California, the service said in a release.
“I am proud of this officer and those in her class? who have earned the infantry officer MOS,” Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said in a statement.
Infantry Officer Course is one of the Corps’ toughest schools, where officers learn combat skills, patrolling, and leadership over 13 weeks of training. Just 88 Marines graduated from the latest class, which started with 131 students.
IOC was first opened to women in 2012 so that Marine leaders could research the feasibility of integrating all-male infantry units. The Pentagon in 2015 then removed all restrictions on women.
Since the course opened, more than 30 female officers have attempted it. Meanwhile, a handful of enlisted female Marines have graduated from the Corps’ Infantry Training Battalion.
“This is such a huge deal,” Kate Germano, a retired lieutenant colonel who previously commanded the all-female 4th Recruit Training Battalion, wrote on Twitter.
When asked why the name of the officer was not made public, Capt. Joshua Pena, a Marine spokesman for Training and Education Command, told Business Insider that the Privacy Act applied to the officer, who said she did not want her name released.
“She’s expressed an interest to the Marine higher-ups to take the quiet professional route,” Lt. Paul Gainey, a spokesman for 1st Marine Division, told Business Insider.
The Corps released a short video with clips of the female lieutenant during the course:
This post was updated on September 25 at 11:19 a.m. PT with comment from Marine spokesmen.