All British Armed Forces Roles are now Open to Women

Dr Lara Herbert, then a Royal Navy Lieutenant, is the second woman to complete the All Arms Commando Course, and the first to complete in one go.

On 25 October 2018, It was announced by the Defence Secretary that all roles in the British Armed Forces are now open to women.

From Thursday 25 October 2018, women:

  • Already serving in the British Army can apply to transfer into the Infantry.
  • Civilians will be able to apply from 21 December 2018.

Basic training for new recruits will start in April 2019.

The ban on women serving in ground close combat roles was lifted in 2016 by the then Prime Minister.

The Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) was the first ground close combat branch to open its doors in November 2016 to female soldiers and officers, followed by the RAF Regiment in September 2017.

The British Army says that, since November 2016, 35 women having been serving with or being trained to join the RAC.


British Army. (2018) All British Armed Forces roles now open to women. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 27 October, 2018].


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