Three women passed the Marines Corps' infantry course, a grueling set of tasks commonly referred to as a "grunt test." The three women are the first to pass the test, according to The Washington Post.
The three women passed the exam by carrying the same rifles and 85-pound packs as their male counterparts, but they won't immediately be allowed to serve in the Marines' infantry.
The Marine Corps said it needs two more years of research before it can decide whether or not women can serve as grunts. The Corps also said more women need to pass the infantry course, and other, even more rigorous Marine courses, in order to amass enough data to determine whether women can serve in the infantry.
After years of debate both nationally and within the services, the Pentagon announced last January that women will be allowed to serve as ground forces beginning in 2016. The services can close certain positions to women if they can justify the decision.