Three women are closer than ever to making history in the Marines.
For the first time, three female Marine officers passed the grueling combat endurance test, which kicks off a 13-week course for officers to lead infantry platoons. Twenty-four women have tried to take the course since it opened in 2012.
The Washington Post reports one woman passed the endurance test the first year, but dropped out of the course about a week later due to stress fractures.
The training course began in Virginia on October 2nd and started with 93 men and seven women. Sixty-seven men also passed to continue training.
However, even if the women pass the course, they still won't be allowed to join the infantry. Marine officials explain the course was opened on an experimental basis, and the job itself remains closed to women.
Last year, the Secretary of Defense ordered that all services must open all combat jobs to women by January 2016, or present reason backed by research as to why this shouldn't happen.
This year, Army Ranger School was also opened to women on experimental basis.
And the Navy is reportedly working on a plan to start putting senior enlisted women on submarines.