Female Marine says corps set her up to fail
Sage Santangelo thinks she knows why no woman to date has been able to pass the corps’ Infantry Officer Course.
At a petite 5’3’’, Sage Santangelo may not look like a combat fighter at first glance. But the female second lieutenant has never let that hold her back from pursuing her dream of becoming an infantry officer in the Marine Corps.
Growing up, Santangelo found she was always able to keep up with the guys and enjoyed playing hockey on all boys’ teams. But when she joined the Marines, Santangelo found the playing field changed; she was segregated into female-only training units and as a woman, was relegated to less strenuous physical training than her male counterparts. And that’s why, Santangelo told “On the Radar,” she didn’t have a fair shot at passing the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course.
“It was an awesome opportunity for me to be able to try the course, and an opportunity for me to learn what the ground combat element does and how I can support them in the future, and how to become a better leader in the Marines overall,” Santangelo said of the Marines’ Infantry Officer course, which she failed out of on the first day.
Santangelo is one of 14 female Marines to have attempted — and failed — the grueling course since the ban against women in ground combat was lifted last year. Passing the course is a requirement for any Marine looking to become an infantry officer; and the reality that no woman to date has been able to pass is just one of many challenges the military is facing in fully implementing the ban’s repeal by the 2016 deadline.