- Women in uniform are no longer on the periphery of the military; instead, they are being given central roles on an equal footing with their male counterparts.
- They are piloting fighter jets, serving on warships, being enlisted in the PBOR cadre, and are qualified for permanent commission.
As long as they meet the requirements for selection, the Indian Air Force has authorised women officers to join its special forces unit, the Garud commando force, in an effort to promote gender equality among its ranks, officials familiar with the matter said on Monday, asking to remain anonymous.
One of the authorities claimed that although the issue has now come to light, the decision to admit women in the elite wing was made last year.
Some of the fiercest warriors who go through intense training, are able to mount a quick and stealthy response in restricted areas, and have historically been a man’s domain make up the special forces of the army, navy, and air force. Special forces units require soldiers to volunteer for membership rather than being assigned to them.
The Garud commando force was expanded by the air force in 2004. The action was taken three years after four terrorists tried to enter the Awantipora fighter base near Srinagar in broad daylight while armed with Kalashnikovs and grenades. All of them were killed.
Alongside their male counterparts, the navy is expanding the opportunity for them to serve on warships. They can now pilot helicopters thanks to the army. Of course, women are still not permitted to operate tanks or serve in infantry combat roles.
Women officers and sailors who are enrolled in INS Chilka’s training programmes in Odisha and who will enlist in the navy as Agniveers next year will have the option of volunteering to become Marcos. Despite the recruitment process having already begun, the air force won’t start inducting women into the personnel below officer rank (PBOR) cadre until the following year.
The armed forces have advanced significantly in the three decades since commissioning the first group of female officers in the short-service stream, and are now providing them with a variety of opportunities that have given them new, hard-earned identities, empowered them, and significantly reduced the gender gap in a field that has historically been dominated by men.
Women in uniform are no longer on the periphery of the military; instead, they are being given central roles on an equal footing with their male counterparts. They are piloting fighter jets, serving on warships, being enlisted in the PBOR cadre, and are qualified for permanent commission. The National Defence Academy is currently training the first group of female candidates.