The first woman in history has just become a Green Beret! The female U.S. Army soldier made history this past week received her Special Forces Tab and donned her Beret at a socially distanced ceremony at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. She remains anonymous due to mission security concerns for special operations troops.
Commanding General for US Army Special Operations Command Lt. Gen. Fran Beaudette led the graduation ceremony for the Army Special Forces training. Beaudette says that “from here, you will go forward and join the storied formation of the Green Berets where you will do what you are trained to do: challenge assumptions, break down barriers, smash through stereotypes, innovate, and achieve the impossible.”
The first woman in history to become a Green Beret is breaking barriers for future female leaders
The general continues, “Thankfully, after today, our Green Beret Men and Women will forever stand in the hearts of free people everywhere.” The soldier who became a Green Beret was a Special Forces engineer sergeant. She completed a 24-day screening program before heading into the Special Forces Qualification Course (Q Course) for a year. She completed her final assessment in mid-June.
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The Pentagon officially opened all combat positions to include women in 2015. Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks on this at the time. “They’ll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars and lead infantry soldiers into combat,” she says. She continues, “They’ll be able to serve as Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers, and everything else that was previously open only to men.”
Past discrimination towards female combat leaders
While this woman is the first to become a Green Beret, she is not the first woman to complete the Special Forces training. Capt. Kate Wilder completed the training in the 1980s but was forced out at the last minute. The Army would later send her a graduation certificate after an investigation upheld her discrimination complaint and resulted in that she was wrongfully denied graduation.
Wilder left the Army as a lieutenant in 2003, but never became a Green Beret. “It isn’t important that I wear the hat,” she says. “I’m not at all hung up on a hat like a lot of the men are … What matters is that I’m officially qualified.”