SHARE 9 6 COMMENTMORE

USA TODAY- Three women will graduate this week from the Marine Corps' enlisted infantry training course, theMarine Corps Times is reporting.

The three were among 15 who started a 59-day course Sept. 24 at the Marine Corps' School of Infantry. By Oct. 28, only seven of those women remained, the Times reports.

The women were subject to the same treatment and strenuous tests as the men, Marine officials told theMarine Corps Times.

During a signature 12.5-mile march that started on Oct. 28, for instance, the women and men were all required to haul almost 90 pounds of combat gear, the Times reports.

The graduate ceremony is scheduled for Thursday at Camp Geiger in North Caroliha, near Wilmington.

The women will be sent to non-combat jobs, CNN reports. The women's course work is part of the Marine Corps' research into the capability of women to enter the armed forces.

A fourth woman who wold have graduated with the three was injured and could not complete the physical and combat portions of her final.

Word of this comes on the heels of news earlier this week that the Army's top officer is pledging that the service will not lower physical standards as it moves to comply with a Department of Defense order to open all military jobs to women.

"The standards will be the same," Gen. Raymond Odierno, Army chief of staff, told USA TODAY on Monday.

Critics have said that pressure to open physically grueling jobs to women would lead to pressure to change standards.

Contributing: Jim Michaels

SHARE 9 6 COMMENTMORE