A female soldier will command infantry troops for the first time having passed one of the British Army’s toughest courses.
The Section Commanders’ Battle Course lasts 16 weeks and is designed to select the best Junior Non-Commissioned Officers to lead infantry soldiers in combat. Soldiers attending the course as Lance Corporals will typically have served around five years and would have been marked out by senior officers as having significant leadership potential.
Alice Bromage, a former Major who served in the Army for 17 years with operational tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, considered it a great achievement.
“Women should be judged on their skills and capability,” she said.
Whilst women have served in combat for many years they have been confined to such roles as intelligence specialists, pilots, linguists and medics. This is the first time a woman has completed the Section Commanders’ Battle Course and been eligible to serve in the infantry alongside male colleagues.
The Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced in October last year that all roles in the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, including infantry units, were to be opened to females. He paid tribute at the time to the “phenomenal” women already serving in the military.