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The first batch of Saudi women to complete armed forces training. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: In another historic moment in Saudi Arabia’s initiatives to empower women, the first batch of female soldiers graduated from the Armed Forces Women’s Training Centre on Wednesday.

The newly recruited military personnel were inducted into the social norms and essential tasks of the Saudi armed forces. Common features include foot drill, inspections, physical training, weapons training, and a graduation parade.

The Chief of the General Staff General Fayyad Al Ruwaili graced the graduation ceremony after completion of the 14-week basic training or regularly boot camp, that began on May 30.

Addressing the graduation ceremony, Major General Adel Al Balawi, head of the Armed Forces Education and Training Authority, said that the centre aims to provide excellent professional training services for female staff of the Ministry of Defence in the vocational areas that the ministry is in need.

“The centre has an important mission, which is to provide distinguished training programs and curricula and an ideal educational environment in keeping with international standards that meet the needs of the Saudi armed forces.

“This aims to achieve better performance that helps realise the ministry’s goals in the future,” he said.

Chief Sgt. Suleiman Al Maliki, acting commander of the Armed Forces Women’s Cadre Training Centre, also spoke on the occasion. Major General Hamid Al Omari, director of the Joint Staff of the Armed Forces, and a number of senior officers of the Armed Forces, also attended the function.

Chief Sergeant Hadi Al Anezi, assistant commander of the centre, administered the oath to the graduates. This was followed by the announcement of the results and the names of those graduates who performed outstandingly and won prizes.

At the end of the ceremony, General Al Ruwaili commented in the registry of the centre, in which he thanked the outstanding work of the staff of the centre in accomplishing the centre’s great mission.

Saudi Arabia opened its Armed Forces to women allowing both genders to sign up through a unified admission portal in February.

Military ranks from soldier to sergeant are available for women in the Saudi Arabia Army, Royal Saudi Air Defence, Royal Saudi Navy, Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Force and the Armed Forces Medical Services. Saudi women between the ages of 21 and 40 are allowed to apply for these posts.