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First female Marine earns recon military occupational specialty

By: Philip Athey

First female Marine earns recon military occupational specialty
The first female Marine has passed the Basic Reconnaissance Course and earned the 0321 reconnaissance Marine military occupational specialty, or MOS, the Marine Corps has confirmed.

Lance Cpl. Alexa Barth graduated from the grueling 12-week course Nov. 7, 1st Lt. Sam Stephenson, Marine Corps spokesman, confirmed to Marine Corps Times Thursday.

Barth still has a few more training schools to go through before joining her unit at 1st Recon Battalion at Camp Pendleton, California, said Maj. Kendra Motz, spokeswoman for 1st Marine Division. Barth is expected to arrive at her unit late spring 2020.

The BRC provides Marines “with the basic knowledge of reconnaissance doctrine, concepts, and techniques with emphasis on amphibious entry, extraction, beach reconnaissance, Combat Rubber Reconnaissance Craft (CRRC) operator skills and ground reconnaissance patrolling skills,” according to a slide attached to the Reconnaissance Training Company website.

The year 2019 has been a year of firsts, with female Marines breaking through historic barriers.

During the summer Capt. Anneliese Satz became the first female Marine to pass the F-35B syllabus, and 1st Lt. Catherine Stark was the first female Marine selected to fly the F-35C carrier version. They joined a very small field of pilots flying the high-tech fighters for the Marine Corps.

Since January the Corps has had at least three recruit companies made up of all-male and all-female platoons training side-by-side for the first time, and has shown interest in making the partially coed companies a more regular occurrence.

The Corps has since posted a notice on a federal business contracting website searching for a university that can study the "extent and effectiveness of gender-combined recruit training and possible options to increase gender-integrated training during boot camp.”


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