The tide has recently turned for women who are seeking combat roles in the military. High-ranking generals now want women to sign up for the draft, while presidential candidate Hillary Clinton supports this as well. Couple this with Kristen Griest becoming the first female infantry officer, it should come as no surprise that women are advancing even farther in prestigious but grueling combat roles, since a ban on women in ground combat positions was lifted last December.
According to Stripes, the two women were cleared for initial special forces training and could report to Fort Bragg, N.C. as early as October for the three-week training program. The Army won’t release their names, since they don’t want to expose them to special treatment or undue pressure. Their accomplishment is clear, though. The training they were cleared for is the first step in the long process of getting a Green Beret. Getting this rank involves completing a variety of grueling training programs, the last of which lasts 64 weeks. The Washington Post has more information on the women who were accepted:
The Army has not identified the women, beyond saying that one graduated from Officer Candidate School and the other was in a Reserve Officers’ Training Course (ROTC), a college-based commissioning program. They were selected by the Army Special Operations Office Accession Panel, which considered applications primarily from soldiers who entered the service in 2013, according to an Army message.
They were among the 860 soldiers who applied, and the 340 who were accepted. Nine women applied for the program this year. By any standard, what these women accomplished is extremely impressive. Maybe in a few years, they will have earned the Green Beret, and we’ll actually know their names.