October 22, 2014. Camp LeJeune, North Carolina.
Marines of artillery Battery A of the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, including (right to left) LCpl. Christine Ruperto, Cpl. Angelique Preston and Pfc. Livier Vielehr, break for chow after camouflaging their trucks and howitzers. The women in the unit have the MOS of field artillery cannoneer (0811), a job previously closed to female Marines.
The Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force is a battalion level unit created in an effort to assess Marines in a series of physical and medical tests to establish baseline standards as the Corps analyze the best way to possibly integrate female Marines into combat arms occupational specialities, such as infantry personnel, for which they were previously not eligible. The unit will be comprised of approx. 650 Marines in total, with about 400 of those being volunteers, both male and female.
Jeremy M. Lange for the Wall Street Journal