The Marine Corps is now officially receiving its first applications to MARSOC from female Marines.
MARSOC, or the United States Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, is the service’s exclusive and prestigious special forces group. Since the Marine Corps did not admit women into any of its combat positions, MARSOC has never before admitted a female member.
But times are a-changin’ in the Marines thanks to Navy Secretary Raymong Mabus’ push to allow women into every combat role in the Navy and Marine Corps. According to Military.com, MARSOC has already begun receiving applications from hopeful female Marines seeking to make the cut.
“The very first week of January … we had one female applicant on the West Coast,” Maj. Gen. Joseph Osterman said. “Unfortunately, there was something in the prerequisite stuff she didn’t have, a [general technical] score or something. It was, ‘get re-tested and come on back,’ that kind of thing.”
As applications trickle in, the Marines are also reaching out to qualified women to encourage them to apply.
“We’ve actively identified all the females in the Marine Corps writ large who meet all the prerequisites just like with our normal screening teams,” Osterman said. “We’ve notified or contacted every one of them and let them know, ‘it’s open, you’re eligible.'”
To be eligible for MARSOC, a Marine must have at least be a “seasoned” corporal, sergeant, first lieutenant or captain. In addition to meeting medical criteria, a MARSOC applicant must have a minimum GT score of 105 and a minimum physical fitness test score of 225 out of 300.
Osterman said that these standards helped MARSOC adjust quickly to Mabus’ changes.
“When [Marines] go into assessment and screening, it’s a very holistic psychological profile. It’s swim, it’s physical fitness, but we don’t even count the PFT as part of the evaluation. It’s much more comprehensive than that,” Osterman said. “It’s a pretty sophisticated standardization system which is nice in that, again, we already had this and it’s gender-neutral already.”