British troops in South Sudan
Women

Female Soldier Completes Army Infantry Training For First Time

It means she is the first woman to transfer to an infantry unit in the service.

British troops in South Sudan

A female soldier has completed infantry training in the British Army for the first time.

It means she is the first woman to transfer to an infantry unit in the service since all roles in the military were opened to women in October 2018.

The woman, who is not being named, passed the Section Commanders Battle Course in Brecon.

The 16-week training course is held three times a year and has leadership and tactical elements as well as numerous physical tests.

To enter the course, soldiers must complete an eight-mile march within two hours wearing full combat equipment and carrying a rifle – totalling an extra 25kg in weight.

The second eight weeks of the course consists of the tactics phase, where soldiers learn about the tactics of fighting as an infantry commander.

This includes leadership, fitness and robustness before a final tactical exercise.

There are a number of key physical tests across the training course at Brecon, which involve wearing full combat equipment and carrying a rifle – 20 kg of extra weight.

Infantry soldiers must complete a two-miler in 18 minutes, a three-miler in 33 minutes and a five-miler in 55 minutes.

Usually, soldiers would qualify for the course after several years in the infantry.

The woman who completed it transferred from another unit directly onto the course.

Her successful completion of it means she is now qualified to lead eight infantry soldiers and could in future be considered for a promotion to the rank of Corporal.

The Defence Secretary's announcement last year opening all roles in the military to womens meant female personnel serving in the Army at the time were able to transfer into infantry roles, including the Special Forces.

Applications for infantry roles from those not already serving began in December, with new recruits starting basic training in April.