Today, the first class of women officers in decades graduated from a class of new recruits in the Afghanistan National Army (ANA). The NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan states the ANA Female Officers Candidate School, which opened in April, was a joint effort between NATO and the Afghan Ministry of Defense. In total, 29 women graduated.
Requirements for admittance to the program are completion of high school, literacy, and satisfactory achievement on a series of tests. Currently, approximately seventy percent of the Afghan population can neither read nor write. The Washington Post reports that recruiting is now underway for a second Afghan Female Officers Candidate School class. They aim to enroll 150 to start in November.
This class of women officers will not be sent to the front lines in the current war in Afghanistan, which is raging at its strongest since the start of the insurgency in 2001, but will instead largely be doing administrative work as finance and logistics officers. The women hope to help take a lead role in helping move national security foreign forces to national forces by 2014, according to Reuters.
Media Resources: The NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan 9/22/10; Washington Post 9/22/10; Reuters 9/23/10