QUANTICO, Va. — The Marine officer who was poised to be the first female graduate of the Corps' grueling Infantry Officer Course was recycled after failing to turn in her issued canteen cup to supply, sources confirmed today.
The unidentified Marine lieutenant lost the cup during a three-week exercise at the Marine Corps Base in Twentynine Palms, California, the last graded exercise of the course.
Although she came the closest to graduation among the more than 30 female officers that have attempted the 13-week program, she'll be sent back to restart the training due to her failure to account for a crucial piece of gear, officials said.
"We require all of our infantry officers to account for their Marines, their weapons, and their canteen cups," said Capt. Andrew Malcom, a Marine spokesman. "And we feel very strongly that a Marine officer who will lead troops in combat should maintain positive control of their canteen cup at all times."
The Washington Post reported Thursday the female lieutenant was all but assured of graduation from the course, since the only thing keeping her from graduation day were a few administrative days and a supply turn-in.
As most Marines can attest, however, supply turn-in throughout the Marine Corps is considered one of the most brutal undertakings a person can endure. The crucible of going to supply is often compared to the horrors endured by prisoners of war, a senior defense official said.
Officials at Quantico's Consolidated Issue Facility (CIF), referred to by most Marines as "satan's asshole," said the lieutenant's loss of a canteen cup was not the only problem to arise from the latest IOC class.
"We also had some Marines try to turn in flak jackets that had a few specks of dirt on the inside of the button," said Nancy Sampson, a CIF employee and expert on brutal psychological torture techniques. "Just shameful."