BURLINGTON, Vermont – All Vermont National Guard combat units are now open to women – the first such policy in the United States, the Vermont National Guard said on Wednesday.
“There is no doubt in my mind that including women in our units makes us a more effective fighting force,” Col. Brey Hopkins, commander of the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, said in a press release. .
Previous guidelines allowed women to transfer, but not enlist, into combat roles, the statement said.
Authorizing the change required all units in Vermont to install women in leadership roles, as well as comprehensive training on ‘gender mainstreaming’ and demonstrate a ‘healthy unity culture,’ he said. he adds.
Adding the ability to recruit women into combat units took several years – “a momentous achievement,” Brig wrote. General James Pabis, Deputy Adjutant General of the Army Guard.
Efforts will continue “to cultivate diversity and inclusion across the organization,” the announcement added.
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The Guard has been increasingly honest about the need to recruit more women since early 2019, when the Guard’s newly appointed Adjutant General Major-General Greg Knight acknowledged that sexism in the Guard had kept some women away and prevented others from climbing the ladder.
“We want to make more women leaders,” he told the Free Press in an interview. “But I need more women to join.”
Follow Joel Banner Baird on Twitter: @VTgoingUp.