First Female Marine Students Arrived at SOI-West

First Female Marine Students Arrived at SOI-West

The first female Marine students arrived at School of Infantry-West (SOI-W) to begin the first phase of Marine Combat Training (MCT) on Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 6, 2018.

This marks the first male-female integrated Marine Combat Training Company on the West Coast.

“It is important, one team one fight, at the end of the day it’s to show the Marine Corps can produce [Marines] regardless of gender and complete any mission.” Said Sgt. Ambar Gonzalez, a combat instructor with Lima Company, SOI-West.

Prior to the West Coast’s integration, female Marines attended MCT training exclusively at Camp Geiger, North Carolina. Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina remains the only depot available for females to attend basic training.

“The Marine Corps has trained all entry-level female Marines, both boot camp at Parris Island and Marine Combat Training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.” said Lt. Col. Dennis L. Hager II, Headquarter and Support Battalion commander. “Starting today, we took 40 of the women from the western regional recruiting offices, and brought them here to Camp Pendleton.”

An additional benefit of the integration is providing families from the West Coast opportunity to see their Marines graduate.

“If families had wanted to observe their daughter from boot camp, or any entry level training school they would have to travel across the country,’ said Hager. “These students are going to have the unique ability to have their families observe their graduation from MCT, from the local area where they came from.”

Marine Combat Training consists of a 29-day course where entry-level Marines in non-infantry related Military Occupational Specialties are taught the basic skills needed to function in a combat environment. Upon completion of MCT, every Marine will have the knowledge and ability to deploy and operate as a basic rifleman.

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29 comments


  • Carl N. Joseph Jr

    Its about time. All Marines should get Combat Training after Basic Training. We all know what happened to the 1st Marine Division in December of 1950. It’s our job to fight when TSHTF. Can’t be done if we don’t get the training. I did’t serve with any WMs but even in ’72’ I thought they should be better trained. Just in case. Semper Fi guys. Love you all.


  • Jason Schaffer

    This is the dumbest thing i’ve ever heard. The old timer that is 68 i’m sure wasn’t in the infantry in Vietnam. So happy i was in the corps when i was. This is exactally why i talked my son out of joining the Marine Corps. iI told him let the gays, trans genders,woman, and liberals fight the future wars.


  • Kenneth Hope

    I thank God that when I was active, you couldn’t find a WM. I saw three my entire enlistment. They were all at Division and I was an Artillery Marine. Now it seems you can’t sling a dead cat without hitting one. Y’all have ruined my Beloved Marine Corps! I know”Chesty Puller” is rolling in his grave like a pig on a spit. You might as well intergrate into the Navy.


  • Wayne Dillon

    I got a little off track here. The article was referring to female Marines going to Marine Combat Training (MCT), not Infantry Training Battalion (ITB). ITB is where 03’s are trained. All non-infantry Marines go to MCT, regardless of gender.


  • Wayne Dillon

    I was questioned about this at the SNCO Advanced Course in 1996. Being I was a dual-cool recon Marine, I suspect they were baiting me during a group discussion. I said I would be OK with it if they had the same standards; ie., PFT, etc. But you can see that they don’t. I love women, and women have a role in the military. In my opinion, the ground combat element is not the place. God made men and different for a reason. Can some women do it? Of course. But as previous comments bear, women don’t play in the NFL. Why? They are physically different, and would get hurt badly. Numerous studies, including the Marine Corps own Integrated Training Experiment, bore this out, but the politicians forced it upon it anyway. The Russians had female soldiers in front line units during World War II, but banned the practice thereafter. Everyone likes to make the outlier the rule, not the exception!


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