Royal Air Force becomes first branch of British military to open all roles to women

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The Royal Air Force (RAF) has become the first branch of the British military to open up every role to women in a landmark move for the armed forces.

Women will today be able to apply to join the RAF’s ground fighting force for the first time.

The move comes after a Government decision last year to lift a ban on women serving in close combat roles.

Women currently make up just 10 per cent of RAF forces personnel in roles ranging from fighter pilots to ground supports troops.

Despite the landmark move, it is expected to take another year before women can apply to enter the Royal Armoured Corps’ infantry or join the Royal Marines, due to the physical demand being tougher.

The ban on women serving in close combat units in the British military was scrapped by former Prime Minister David Cameron.

It was announced in July that the RAF Regiment would open up applications to women ahead of the 2018 schedule.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said at the time: “Individuals who are capable of meeting the standards for the regiment will be given the opportunity to serve, regardless of their gender.

“This is a defining moment for the RAF.”


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