Women In Combat: All Roles Now Open To Female Personnel

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced that all roles in the military are now open to women.

Mr Williamson's announcement now means that women already serving in the Army are able to transfer into infantry roles, including the Special Forces.

Those not currently serving will be able to apply for infantry roles in December this year - with new recruits starting basic training in April 2019.

The Defence Secretary also confirmed that women are now able to apply to join the Royal Marines, with selection beginning before the end of the year. Training courses will start in early 2019 at the Royal Marines Commando training centre in Lympstone.

He said: "Women have led the way with exemplary service in the armed forces for over 100 years, working in a variety of specialist and vital roles.

"So I am delighted that from today, for the first time in its history, our armed forces will be determined by ability alone and not gender.

"Opening all combat roles to women will not only make the armed forces a more modern employer but will ensure we recruit the right person for the right role."

What role have women had in the military?

A ban on women serving in close combat units in the British military was lifted by the then Prime Minister David Cameron back in 2016.

It meant that women, who had previously served on the front line in support roles, would be allowed to enter the cavalry, infantry and the armoured corps.

But the application process has been phased in.

The ban was lifted on them being able to join some parts of the Royal Armoured Corps in 2016. They now have 35 women serving, and the recruitment process for female marines is underway.

The RAF was the first of the three services to open up all roles to women giving them permission to join the RAF Regiment, the air force’s ground fighting force for protecting air bases.

Army combat roles are already open to women in a number of countries including Norway and Denmark. 

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