For the first time, a woman soldier will join the Green Berets. According to the U.S. Army, the soldier graduate Thursday from US Army Special Forces training. Now, she will become part of one of the Army’s most elite units.
In a speech at the “Covid-compliant” graduation ceremony, Lt. Gen. Fran Beaudette referred to the graduates as “Green Beret Men and Women.” Since the founding of the Special Forces in the 1950s, there have only been Green Beret men.
“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,” Beaudette said.
The Green Berets are one of the last forces in the Army to remain all-male. And it wasn’t until 2016 that all combat positions were made available to women. This, of course, caused controversy—most notably from the Marine Corps who said that all-male squads were more effective than mixed sex groups.
Though the woman soldier (unnamed for security purposes) will be the first female Green Beret, she is not the first woman to graduate from Special Forces training. In 1980, Capt. Kate Wilder filed a discrimination complaint because she was not allowed to graduate. She was given a certificate of graduation but never became a Green Beret. Wilder served in the Special Forces until retiring in 2013.