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First woman to be part of US infantry corps

WASHINGTON: Captain Kristen Griest became the United States (US) Army’s first female infantry officer this week, the Army said, in a breakthrough for the US military as it opens up battle roles for women.

Griest was one of two women who made history last year after becoming one of the first female soldiers to pass the Army’s exhausting course to be nominated for the best Rangers unit.

Previously this month, the Army said it had accepted appeals from more than 20 women to enter the infantry and armour branches, both of which face the likelihood of combat. The armour branch comprises tanks.

Army Times, which first reported the news, said Griest was probable to graduate from the Maneuver Captain’s Career Course on Thursday.

Last year the US military said it would let women serve in all combat roles, a historic move striking down gender barriers in the armed forces.

As of mid-2015, nearly 12 per cent of US forces deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan were women. They embodied about 2pc of US military deaths in those wars.