First female soldier completes British Army infantry training

A female soldier has become the first woman to complete infantry training for the British Army since all military roles were opened up to both genders in October 2018.

The unnamed soldier passed the Section Commanders Battle Course in Brecon, Forces Network reports, making her the first woman to transfer to an infantry unit in the service.

She is believed to have transferred from another unit directly onto the 16-week course, and her successful completion means she now has the necessary qualifications to lead eight infantry soldiers as well as be considered for promotion to corporal in future.

The training course is held three times a year and involves numerous physical tests as well as leadership and tactical elements.

In order to get onto it in the first place, soldiers must complete an eight-mile march within two hours wearing full combat equipment and a rifle.

Defence secretary Gavin Williamson announced last year that all roles in the military would be opening up to women, commenting: "By opening all combat roles to women, we will maximise the talents available to our military and further make the armed forces a more modern employer."

Until a ban was lifted in 2016, women were unable to serve in ground close combat roles, despite demonstrating exemplary service in combat-facing roles prior to that.

The Royal Armoured Corps was the first to welcome female soldiers and officers after the regulations were altered, followed by the RAF Regiment.

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