The U.S. Army has approved the first female officers for ground combat missions, following new rules that open all military combat positions to women.
The 22 women have almost finished their officer training and must complete training in specialty schools to enter either the armor branch or infantry branch. Previously, women had been barred from joining frontline combat roles in the U.S. military, including the infantry.
An Army statement Friday said the women must complete the remaining training and physical requirements before they can qualify as combat officers.
In December, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the military would open all occupations to women this year, saying America's all-volunteer fighting force cannot afford to ignore half of the population in the 21st century that requires "drawing strength from the broadest possible pool," including women.