A female Marine lieutenant has become the first woman in history to graduate from the United States Marine Corps (USMC) Scout Sniper Unit Leaders Course. Previously, the Marine officer, who is a candidate for a Ground Intelligence Officer (0203) Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), was the second female to successfully complete the Infantry Officer Course.
She is now almost qualified to lead a Scout Sniper platoon or apply for reconnaissance training. According to the Marine Corps Training and Education Command, the female officer had, in fact, finished Scout Sniper school back in July, but due to operational security reasons, it wasn’t publicized until now.
The three-week school trains junior officers (from lieutenant to captain) and non-commissioned officers on how to best employ Marine snipers to increase their lethality and effectiveness on the battlefield and thus, better accomplish any mission they face. It was held at Quantico, Virginia.
The school, however, shouldn’t be confused with the basic Scout Sniper course, which junior enlisted Marines attend to in order to become qualified snipers. That school is two-and-half months long and one of the more intensive training programs in the entire USMC.
Among other tasks, the school teaches orders development, tactical decision-making, counterinsurgency operations, and training and familiarization with different U.S. and foreign sniper weapons and optics. In the end, a final exercise is held in which the candidates must pass prompt and accurate information back to a hypothetical Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center (SARC). The exercise usually begins with a stealthy infiltration toward the enemy target. Once in position, the teams have to relay the enemy’s position back to the SARC and await further instructions.
Despite the integration of women into combat and Special Operations positions, there still haven’t been any female Navy SEALs, Green Berets, Recon Marines, Marine Raiders, or Pararescuemen. A female has recently successfully completed the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS), which assesses candidates for their eligibility to be trained to become U.S. Army Special Forces operators. She still has a long way to go to earn the coveted Green Beret, as she must first finish the arduous Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC).
According to the Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs Department, no female officers or enlisted members have attempted the Basic Reconnaissance Course (BRC), the grueling assessment and selection program that any aspirant Recon Marine must first pass. Furthermore, less than 200 have applied and been accepted to combat jobs, such as infantry, combat engineers, artillery, or tanks.