Two years after the ban against females in infantry and armor jobs was lifted, women can join the 101st Airborne Division, the 4th Infantry Division and 1st Armored Division.
There’s more jobs than ever for women in the military.
The U.S. Army has opened three new combat posts for female recruits, included the elite “Screaming Eagles” 101st Airborne Division, Army Times reported.
Women served in the military as early as the Revolutionary War, when some fearless females disguised themselves as men to fight alongside their husbands. They served in unofficial capacities as nurses and support staff until Congress passed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act in 1948, which allowed them permanent, regular and reserve status in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force, and also granted them veteran benefits. Today, more than 200,000 women are serving in active duty, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
But the Army didn’t officially lift its ban on women serving in infantry and armor jobs until two years ago; that opened about 220,000 jobs to them and cleared the way for women to serve alongside men in combat arms units.
As the Army continues to implement the Army Gender Integration plan that the Defense Department made effective in January 2016 to bring women into military occupational specialties, now women can add the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; the 4th Infantry Division Fort Carson, Colorado; and the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas to the list of posts open to them.
The “Screaming Eagles” 101st Airborne, also known as “the tip of the spear,” are legendary for parachuting into Normandy on D-Day during World War II, firing the first shots of Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and regaining control of Fallujah and Mosul from ISIS in Iraq.
“There are female Infantry and Armor Soldiers, in training now, with assignments to Fort Carson, Fort Campbell and Fort Bliss. These Soldiers will start arriving at the additional installations as soon as April 2018,” Army spokesman Paul Boyce told Moneyish.
The first class of female infantry officers completed training at Fort Benning, Georgia, in fall 2016. The first 18 women to complete infantry basic training graduated in spring 2017. And then last November, six women earned their Expert Infantrymen Badges at Fort Bragg. The EIB test entailed 30 basic infantry skills and tasks that had to be completed with less than three errors, and these six women were among the 287 soldiers who passed the test out of 1,007 initial contenders.
“This historic achievement is a reminder of the great things we can achieve when women are seen and treated as equals and given the same chance to contribute to their country,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a combat veteran, told Army Times.
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