In a ground breaking moment for military and feminist history, women studying in the South West are among the first ever females to be considered for The Royal Marine Commandos.
The female students at Bicton College are set to be history makers, having passed the gruelling test to be considered for the elite force.
Military and SRS (Safety, Rescue & Security) learners took part in the Royal Marines and Royal Navy recruitment test as part of their study at Bicton College, which is an A-level equivalent course preparing them for their chosen career.
Scott Lawson, Head of Military and Public Services at Bicton College, said that he was hugely proud of the boys and girls in the cohort, who all passed the test.
“What makes this historic event even more special for us here at Bicton College is that the whole group – both male and female – were all successful in achieving the required grade to apply for a career within the Armed Forces, which is fantastic news.”
“Four of these students are some of the first ever females who have now passed the test to apply to join the elite Royal Marine Commandos following the recent government announcement that females are now allowed to join front line military units.”
Female soldiers are now able to join armoured units and will be able to apply for all close ground combat jobs by the end of 2018.
Bicton Military Academy student Chloe Holmes was thrilled to have passed this test alongside her male classmates, and commented; ‘I am now one step closer to achieving my dream career!’
The historic change to hundreds of years of British military tradition followed a two year study focussed on whether women are fit for the rigours of combat and whether they would undermine the Armed Forces fighting power.
The change in regulation means that women are no longer banned from ground combat units, which is a step towards equality welcomed at Bicton College, which prides itself on having a diverse offer with something for everyone.
The rule has meant women can now join the Army infantry battalions, armoured regiments, the Royal Marines and the RAF Regiment.
Speaking at a Nato summit in Warsaw last year, former Prime Minister, David Cameron said it was “vital that our Armed Forces are world class and reflect the society we live in”.
“Lifting this ban is a major step. It will ensure the Armed Forces can make the most of all their talent and increase opportunities for women to serve in the full range of roles.”
For more information on Military and Public Services courses on offer at Bicton College please visit www.bicton.ac.uk or call 0845 60 50 455.