Elverum, Norway – In a job dominated by men, a special forces military unit is receiving attention for a great reason: Norways Jegertroppen, or “Hunter Troops, is making history as the first all-female specials forces in the world.
The unit was created in 2014 as a one-year experiment program and was later extended for another three years. After several years in development, the Jegertroppen experiment has been a resounding success.
Before 2014, there were no women in the special operations forces. Over the course of years, none had passed the selection for the Fallskjermjeger (paratroopers), Spesialjeger (special hunters), or Marinejeger (marine hunters). Several made it to the admission process but were dropped during the selection phase.
The war in Afghanistan revealed the operational limitations of not having a highly trained female because male troops were forbidden from communicating with women. This was having an impact on intelligence gathering and building relations with the community.
“When [Norway] deployed to Afghanistan we saw that we needed female soldiers. Both as female advisers for the Afghan special police unit that we mentored, but also when we did an arrest,” said Col. Frode Kristofferson, the commander of Norway’s special forces. “We needed female soldiers to take care of the women and children in the buildings that we searched.”
According to the NATO Association of Canada, other special operations forces are interested to know more about the Jegertroppen with the U.S. Special Operations Command taking interest in their program. This is most probably to study on allowing women to do special operations missions as more roles are opened to them in the U.S. military.
Will there be more all-female special forces units in the future? It looks like it and the Jegertroppen of Norway will be leading them as they are the pioneer specialize military unit who empower women in the armed forces.