2 Women Approved to Join Marine Infantry

All combat jobs are open to women after a December 2015 order from the Defense Secretary

Two women have been approved to join the infantry, a U.S. Marine spokesperson confirmed to NBC 7 San Diego.

One will become a rifleman with another will become a machine gunner, Pentagon spokesperson Capt. Philip Kulczewski said in a written statement.

The addition of the new Marines in their combat roles will take time, including "counseling, reviewing physical readiness, completing resident Professional Military Education, individual performance, competiveness in MOS and ultimately needs of the Marine Corps," he said.

Also, a female leadership cadre must be in place at least three months before the two infantry Marines arrive, Kulczewski said.

A training team will visit USMC installations in May to discuss integrating women into the infantry units.

When the recruitment of women for combat jobs was first endorsed by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, the Marine Corps estimates 200 women a year will move into ground combat jobs.

And U.S. Special Operations Command said it anticipates a "small number" of volunteers for its commando jobs.

The Navy said it is already collecting submission packages from prospective SEAL candidates and could see women in entry-level enlisted and officer training in September and October.

The top Army and Marine Corps generals have said they feel it will take up to three years to fully integrate women into all combat jobs.

Officials in each branch of the military have insisted they will not lower standards for the combat posts or bow to pressure or quotas to get more women into the grueling frontline jobs.

No women have made it through the Marine infantry officer course so far.

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