Navy Lt. Shannon Stout made history for 2nd Tank Battalion this month when she pinned on the rank of lieutenant commander, making her the unit’s first field grade officer, according to Marine Corps reports.
A battalion surgeon, Stout joined the unit in 2012, according to the report. The promotion is significant because the Marine Corps only recently opened a limited selection of billets in ground combat elements, including tank units, to female Marines. Beginning in May 2012, women have been able to serve in 371 new billets within combat units. The change opened more than 14,000 new positions to women. Nearly a third of active-duty positions in Marine units remain closed to women.
“It’s exciting to be the first female medical (field grade) officer with 2nd Tank Battalion, and I am honored to be holding the plank with some other outstanding female Marines and sailors that were also part of the women in combat integration,” Stout told a Marine combat correspondent.
In the report, Stout said that working within 2nd Tanks is “the most fun, the most rewarding and the most frustrating thing I have ever done,” but said other female officers now work near her and she has enjoyed being able to mentor them.
Congratulations, Lt. Cmdr. Stout!