SAN DIEGO, California: The first-ever all-female platoon has completed the grueling boot camp training at the U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.
The all-women Platoon 3241, alone among male recruits, completed the 13-week training, which ended with a three-day final exercise known as the Crucible, a 45-mile hike over hills, carrying a rifle and 55-pound bag of equipment. Those participating only are allowed three hours of sleep each night.
Following completion of the hike there is still another 4.5-mile walk to return to barracks. Then comes their "Warrior's Breakfast" and acknowledgment of their becoming Marines.
The West Coast Marine training was divided between Camp Pendleton, Calif. and the San Diego Depot, and began in February.
Appropriately, new Marine Pfc. Josephine Imperial was greeted by her father, Sgt. Maj. Joseph Imperial, at the end of the training, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
"Welcome to the family, Pfc. Imperial," he said, as she was called out of formation for congratulations.
"I was so happy for him to be there the moment I became a Marine," Josephine Imperial said. "I feel like it's connecting through all of us and I just feel more connected to him and my grandfather [also a Marine] now."
The all-woman platoon scores were the highest in the company in physical and combat fitness tests, with rifle range scores higher than the average for female recruits at Parris Island, S.C., the other Marine boot camp where all-female enlisted Marines have been trained, Military.com reported.
Under a 2019 order from Congress, the Marine Corps has been required to fully integrate women into both its boot camps, Parris Island and San Diego.