Bundesheer celebrates 25 years of soldiers

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The Austrian Armed Forces are celebrating "1 years of women in the army" on April 25 this year. On April 1, 1998, the first nine women enlisted. In recent years, the proportion of women in the Austrian Armed Forces has increased to 645 soldiers, but the proportion is still relatively low compared to other European countries. In order to increase the proportion of women, from April 1, 2023, women have the opportunity to voluntarily take up "basic military service".

“An important measure that we have now taken is the “voluntary basic military service” for women. After 25 years, we have managed not only to give women low-threshold access to the army, but also to make all functions equally accessible to women. We will continue to work on integrating women and, in particular, increasing the proportion to such an extent that more women can be recruited for the armed forces," said Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner.

The "voluntary basic military service"

25 years after the first women enlisted in the federal army, from April 1, 2023, they now have the opportunity to find out about "voluntary basic military service" and to start. In this way, the Armed Forces enable female soldiers, without any further obligation, to get to know all branches of the armed forces and to decide on a career as a soldier within a period of six months. So far, women have only been able to enter the military profession by crossing an entry hurdle. 645 servicewomen are currently serving in various branches of the service – from fighter commandos to helicopter pilots to senior physicians. "We already have 19 interested parties before the start of the project and that is a very positive sign," said the minister at a press conference.

Lockheed C-130
Lockheed C-130 "Hercules" (Photo: HBF/ Gunter Pusch).