Bradford, pictured in the center, along with three unidentified Marines, are considered test subjects by the Corps to determine what ground combat jobs may be opened to women.
Women have been serving with the Marines since Opha Mae Johnson first enlisted in 1918. Today, women make up 6.2 percent of the Marine Corps and serve in 93 percent of all occupations – including officers. Out of the 18 women who started the training, these are the four women to complete the training and would eligible for assignment to combat infantry units. The latter won’t happen because they are already assigned to other non-infantry units in the Corps. There are 19 other women following these four in upcoming training cycles.
So it’s not unusual for women to be in the Marines. That’s not the story. The story is the selfie photo documenting a historical moment.