US Army approves first female officers for ground combat jobs

Ground combat jobs, previously closed to women, has now been opened up with a historic change in rules.

Washington: 22 women currently training to become US Army officers will be allowed to enter the service as second lieutenants in the infantry and armour branches under historic new rules that allow women to serve in combat jobs, the Army said on Friday.

The women, who are nearing the completion of officer training and will be commissioned in the coming weeks, had requested permission to serve in the newly opened roles upon entering the service, the Army said in a statement. 13 have been approved to enter the Army as armour officers and nine have been approved for the infantry.

All 22 must complete their remaining training before fully qualifying as infantry or armour officers, the statement said. The women currently are in school at the US Military Academy at West Point, taking reserve officer training at universities or are in officer candidate school in the military.

After they are commissioned, the women will have to undergo armour- or infantry-specific training at Fort Benning, Georgia, before being assigned as officers in charge of armour or infantry platoons.

Recruitment of female officers into leadership roles in combat units is seen as an important step toward successfully integrating women of all ranks into ground combat jobs that were previously closed to them. Some 300,000 women have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and women represent about 2 of US casualties in the conflicts.

( Source : reuters )
Next Story