The first group of female Marines is arriving at Camp Pendleton to train alongside men in a Marine Combat Training Battalion on the West Coast.
The forty women will begin the 29-day training known as MCT. According to the Marine Corps, the mission of the Marine Combat Training Battalion is to train Marines to be basic combat rifleman in order to prepare them for worldwide deployment in the operating forces.
Entry-level Marines are taught the common skills needed in combat. While at Marine Combat Training Battalion every Marine will learn: the basics of day and night combat marksmanship, use of the M67 grenade, employment and targeting with the M203 Grenade Launcher and M240B Medium Machine Gun, how to detect and respond to Improvised Explosive Devices, defensive fundamentals, convoy operations, offensive fundamentals, patrolling, Military Operations on Urban Terrain (MOUT), tactical communications, Combat Hunter, tactical field care and land navigation.
Marines also undergo combat conditioning through the use of obstacle courses, conditioning hikes, and combat fitness runs. Upon completion of Marine Combat Training, every Marine will have the knowledge and ability to deploy and operate in any combat environment around the world as a basic rifleman.
Female and male Marines have been going through the training at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina since shortly after all jobs opened to women in the Marine Corps in 2016.
Capt. Joshua Pena, a spokesperson for the Marine Corps, told NBC 7 the only difference in the training will be the terrain in California. Adding there were some preparations that needed to be made to the barracks and some other structures to accommodate women.
The women Marines who will train at the School of Infantry west recently completed basic training at Parris Island where all female Marines currently go through boot camp.