Which US special forces accepts women

All combat forces in the US Army will be open to women

So far, only men have been allowed to fight in the Marines and Seals. Now women are also allowed to apply there.

In a historic step, the US is opening up all of its combat troops to female soldiers. "America's future armed forces must include the skills of the best America has to offer - including women," Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in Washington on Thursday.

In total, there are 220,000 positions that women were previously denied. Soldiers are now allowed to serve in the Marines and special forces such as the Navy Seals, the Green Berets or as parachutists.

A women's network in the military welcomed the innovation. "This is a significant step in the history of our military and will ensure that our armed forces remain the strongest and most capable regardless of gender," it said.

Positive influence on the combat ability of the military

Republican Senator John McCain and influential Republican Mac Thornberry said in a joint statement that Carter's decision would have a positive impact on the military's ability to fight.

In the past few years the US has continuously reduced the number of its soldiers. In 2014 the Pentagon had 1.3 million soldiers, almost twelve percent less than in 1995. Of the 1.3 million, around 15 percent were women.

Women have been allowed to attend US military academies since 1957. In 1993 they were allowed to fly fighter planes and command warships. This year, for the first time, two female soldiers completed their training as rangers.

Already two women in an elite ranger group

This summer for the first time two out of 19 women successfully completed the extremely tough, two-month training course to become elite rangers. In addition to the Navy Seals, the rangers are a small elite unit that is also entrusted with risky special missions behind the front lines.

If you want to pass the exam, you have to do 49 pushups and a five-mile endurance run (a good eight kilometers) in 40 minutes. Parachute jumps, operations in the mountains and in swamps are also included.

(APA / dpa)