The Army is one step closer to having its first female Green Beret since all combat jobs were opened to women.
- An unnamed female soldier recently completed the 24-day Special Forces Assessment and Selection phase of training and has been selected to attend the Special Forces Qualification Course, which can last up to 24 months, said U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokesman Lt. Col. Loren Bymer.
- “We’re proud of all the candidates who attended and were selected to continue into the qualification course in hopes of earning their Green Beret,” Bymer said in an email to Task & Purpose.
- “It is our policy to not release the names of our service members because Special Forces Soldiers perform discrete missions upon graduation,” he added. “Please respect the decision of these soldiers to enter into this profession by protecting their identity to the fullest extent.”
- No matter what happens next, the fact the woman passed Special Forces Assessment and Selection is a major achievement. The training is both physically and mentally brutal and has a high washout rate.
- News that the female soldier had been selected for the Special Forces Qualification Course was first tweeted on Wednesday by Howard Altman, military reporter for the Tampa Bay Times.
- In 1981 Capt. Kathleen Wilder became the first woman to be Special Forces qualified. Although Wilder made it through the training, she was told she had failed a field exercise, the New York Times reported at the time. After she filed a sex discrimination complaint, Army Training and Doctrine Command ruled that she had in fact completed Special Forces training.
UPDATE: This story was updated at 9:50 on Nov. 14 to include that Capt. Kathleen Wilder was the first female soldier to complete Special Forces training.