Capt. Maryse Carmichael became the first female Snowbird pilot in Canada.
November: Chechen woman Aiza Gazuyeva assassinates a Russian general by suicide bombing. She is the first Chechen shahidka, or "black widow", a term for female suicide bombers. More women begin to copy her example.
Maj. Anne Reiffenstein became the first female in Canada to command a combat arms sub-unit.
Lt.-Cmdr. Marta Mulkins is the first woman to serve as a captain of a Canadian warship.
Maj. Jennie Carignan of 5 Combat Engineer Regiment (5 CER) becomes the first female Deputy Commanding Officer of a combat arms unit in Canada.
Leading Seaman Hayley John and Leading Seaman Marketa Semik are the first female clearance divers in Canada.
Master Seaman Colleen Beattie is the first woman in Canada qualified as a submariner, followed shortly by Master Seaman Carey Ann Stewart.
The first all-female Canadian military team to complete the Nijmegen March in the Netherlands carrying the same weight as male teams do so in 2003. The team members are: team leader Lieut. Debbie Scott, second-in-command Capt. Lucie Mauger, Lieut. Jody Weathered, Cpl. Elizabeth Mutch, Warrant Officer Nathalie Mercer, Warrant Officer Jackie Revell, Master Corporal Denise Robert, Cpl. Melissa Cedilot, Cpl. Danette Frasz, Lt.-Col. Teresa McNutt, Lieut. Donna Rogers and Cpl. Anne MacDonald.
Chief Petty Officer, 1st Class Jan Davis is appointed Coxswain of HMCS Regina and is the first woman Coxswain of a major warship in Canada.
Major D., an IAF MANAT (Flight Test Center) test-engineer flew the F-16I Sufa on Tuesday (27 April 2004). She was the first woman in the Israel Defense Forces to fly a F-16I jet.
4 February: Italian war correspondent Giuliana Sgrena is kidnapped in Iraq by insurgents. The car carrying her and her companions was shot at while by American forces at a checkpoint during her release in March, wounding her and killing an Italian intelligence agent.
War correspondent Gina Cavallaro watched her military escort, 20-year-old Spc. Francisco Martinez, be killed by an enemy sniper in Iraq. She later expanded upon her experiences in her book, Sniper: American Single-Shot Warriors in Iraq and Afghanistan.
17 May: Captain Nichola Goddard, (Canadian Forces Land Force Command), becomes the first Canadian woman to be killed in action since World War II, and the first Canadian female combat soldier to be killed on the front lines. She was near the front lines serving as a forward artillery observer during a battle with Taliban forces. She was killed when a rocket-propelled grenade struck her light-armoured vehicle.
16 June: PteMichelle Norris, British Army, saves the life of her sergeant by climbing out of a vehicle and pulling him from the turret of the Warrior Patrol Vehicle that they were in while under heavy gunfire. She is eventually awarded the Military Cross for her actions, and is the first woman to receive one.
12 August: Sgt. Maj. Keren Tendler, the first female Israeli helicopter flight mechanic, is killed in action during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict along with four other crew members. A fund is later established in her name to help other women become flight mechanics.
4 December: Linda Corbould led the RAAF's first all-female aircrew during a training flight. Corbould was subsequently appointed the Senior Air Force Officer in Tasmania, a position she had requested.
March: Acting Leading Seaman Faye Turney, a British sailor, is captured by Iran along with fourteen other British sailors. While captive, she appears on television apologizing for trespassing in Iranian waters, and also writes a letter stating that she and her fellow sailors "apparently trespassed" on Iranian waters.
April: The fifteen British sailors captured by Iran are released. It is revealed that Acting Leading Seaman Faye Turney was separated from the other sailors and singled out for special treatment by the Iranians. In a news conference, some of the other sailors state that she was used as a propaganda tool by Iran. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticizes the United Kingdom for sending Turney, the mother of a young child, into a war zone.
Since 2007, Mexico's army has allowed women soldiers to work as pilots and engineers in addition to nurses and doctors.
23 May: Lt. Col. Pi Woo-jin, one of the first female helicopter pilots in the South Korean military, is reinstated into the military after a legal battle over her forced medical discharge after she underwent a mastectomy for breast cancer. She is the first soldier to ever be reinstated into the South Korean military after a forced medical discharge.
18 June: Corporal Sarah Bryant becomes the first female British soldier to be killed in Afghanistan when she and three other SAS men die in a roadside bomb.
Flt Lt Kirsty Moore became the first female aviator for the Royal Air Force's Red Arrows, the RAF's aerobatic team.
21 January: Samira Jassam, an Iraqi recruiter of female suicide bombers, is captured. She admits to organizing rapes against potential recruits in order to convince them that martyrdom was the only means to escape their shame.
8 April: Commander Josée Kurtz becomes the first woman to command a major Canadian warship.
April: Lance Corporal Amy Thomas finishes her six-month tour of duty, the last two months of which she spent attached to the elite Royal Marines of 42 Command. She is believed to be the British Army’s first female combatant. Women are traditionally unable to join the Marines or infantry regiments in the British military.
August: Abu Sayyaf, a militant Islamic group in the Philippines, is reported to be recruiting female fighters.
Major Mitali Madhumita becomes the first female officer in India to be decorated with a gallantry medal.
Shikha Awasthi, a cadet of the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) at Pune, India, becomes the first woman to receive a Sword of Honour for overall excellence at the passing-out parade of the institute. She also becomes the first graduate of AFMC to receive all three top honours, namely, the Sword of Honour, the Presidents Gold Medal and the Kalinga Trophy.
An anonymous woman becomes the first to undertake combat missions in the RAF's new Typhoon fighter.
Ramona Go is the Philippine army's first female general.
Captain Lisa Head is the first British female officer to be killed in Afghanistan. She is also the first British female bomb disposal expert to be killed in action.
Ramatoulie DK Sanneh is the first female Brigadier General in Gambia.
Rear-Admiral Jennifer Bennett is appointed as the first female Chief, Reserves and Cadets, in Canada.
Orna Barbivay becomes the first female Major General in the Israel Defense Forces.
Sarah West was appointed as the first female warship commander in the Royal Navy of the British Armed Forces.
Second Lieutenant Noy, a combat soldier in the Caracal Battalion, became the first female officer to command a sniper platoon in the Israel Defense Forces.
Proscovia Nalweyiso became the first female Brigadier General in Uganda.
Australia decided to gradually remove all restrictions on women serving in front-line combat over a period of five years.
Sapper Shanti Tigga became the first female jawan in the Indian army.
The first all-female team of skydivers of the Indian Air Force made its official debut during the annual Air Force Day parade.
Brigadier Simone Wilkie became the first woman to be in command of Australian soldiers at war. Specifically, Brigadier Wilkie, 47, was National Commander, Afghanistan, and was in charge of all 1500 Australian personnel serving with ADF units and embedded with international forces in the combat zone.
Chantelle Taylor became the first female British soldier to reveal she killed an enemy fighter while on active combat, which she did in 2008 and revealed in 2011.
The first woman joined the ranks of the Mexican navy's special forces.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed that women are to be allowed to serve on the submarines of the Royal Navy (the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces). The first women officers will begin serving on Vanguard-class nuclear subs in late 2013. They will be followed by female ratings in 2015, when women should also begin serving on the new Astute-class subs.
The first Saudi Arabian women have been recruited into the country’s military service, Arab News reports. However, they will be stationed as privates as Passport Control departments on only border crossings.
It was announced that the Australian Defence Force would open all jobs in the military to women in 2013.
Carmen Melendez de Maniglia became the first female admiral in Venezuela. She was in the Navy.
Col. Tammy Harris became the commander of CFB Borden near Barrie, Ontario. She was the first woman to head a Canadian Forces base.
Colonel Marian C. Aledio became the first female Judge Advocate General in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
A group of Chinese female pilots made their first solo flights in the J-10 combat aircraft, becoming the first female air force pilots capable of flying the multirole aircraft - the country's most advanced fighter jet.
Rear Adm. Robin Braun became the first female commander of the U.S. Navy Reserve, and the first woman to lead any Reserve component of the U.S. military.
Lance-Corporal Jacinda Baker, 26, became New Zealand's first female soldier killed in the war in Afghanistan, and in fact New Zealand's first female soldier killed since the Vietnam War.
Sherry-ann Edwards became the first female fleet chief petty officer in the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard.
A British soldier, a Fijian national serving as a gunner with the Royal Artillery, gave birth to a boy while serving in Afghanistan. The birth, which occurred in a field hospital, is thought to be the first time a serving member of Britain's military went into labor in a combat zone.
Leading Hand Claire Butler, 29, from Middlesbrough, was named the first crew member on the largest warship built for the Royal Navy, the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. Bosses believe the ship, which will have 1,600 crew members when fully operational, will head to Portsmouth in 2017, with flying trials beginning in 2018 and deployment possible two years later.
For the first time ever, the Indian Air Force is preparing two of its women pilots for combat roles. Flight Lieutenants Alka Shukla and M P Shumathi were trained at the Yelahanka station in flying twin-engine Mi-8, a utility and medium-size assault helicopter. Both pilots are at their operational units where they will continue with their armament and special heli-operations training.
Lieutenant Commander Kay Burbidge became the first woman in the Fleet Air Arm to have 3000 flying hours.
Lt. Nilofor Rhmani became the first female pilot in the Afghanistan air force to fly solo under the air force’s pilot training program.
Channing Day, a British servicewoman, became the first woman killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan. She was also the first female soldier from Northern Ireland to be killed in Afghanistan, according to the British army.
Commander Sandra Walker became the first woman to take command of a major tanker in New Zealand. It was the 138m replenishment tanker, HMNZS Endeavour.
Dalva Maria Carvalho Mendes became the first female two-star rear admiral in the Brazilian Navy.
Australia made a parliamentary apology to mainly female victims of sexual and physical abuse in the military and set up a compensation fund after thousands of claims of rape and sexual assault. A report in 2011 detailed more than 1,000 claims of sexual and other forms of abuse in the Australian military.
The Royal Australian Navy appointed Capt. Angela Bond as the first female commanding officer of naval base HMAS Stirling near Rockingham.
An anonymous woman became the first Orthodox Jewish female combat navigator in Israel.
An all-female battalion was armed by the Syrian government to back the rule of Bashar Al Assad.
In Syria, the first all-female battalion of Kurdish women was created. Specifically, 150 Kurdish women set up a female-only battalion in the northern province of Aleppo. The city where the battalion originated is Afrin. The battalion is named the Martyr Rokan Battalion. It fought against the regime of Bashar Al Assad.
Eva Lizet Julca Anaya, a 23-year-old native of Peru, became the first foreign female cadet in the history of the Korea Military Academy.
Taiwan decided to cancel the 8 percent limit for women serving in its military, as part of efforts to recruit more female soldiers.
Allison Jones, from Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, became the first woman appointed to fire the Edinburgh's One o'clock Gun at Edinburgh Castle.
The Chinese army's first female special warfare unit was officially established in a brigade of the Nanjing Military Region.
The Maritime Self-Defense Force of Japan named its first female skippers for destroyers used in training exercises; they were Miho Otani and Ryoko Azuma, who were the first female graduates of the National Defense Academy of Japan.
Capt. Lee Na-kyum and Capt. Oh Hyun-jin became the first all-female crew to fly a C-130 cargo aircraft in the South Korean Air Force.
The first female special operation company of the Army of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLAA) carried out the first parachute landing training in an area of North China on May 14, 2013. The 15 participating female special operation members parachuted successfully from 800 meters to 1,000 meters in the air at the first try. The female special operation company was founded in a brigade of the 38th Combined Corps of the Beijing Military Area Command (MAC) of the PLA on March 30, 2013. It is also known that besides the "August 1" Aerobatics Team and the airborne force of the PLA Air Force (PLAAF), it is the first time for the PLAA to organize air parachute landing for organic female soldiers.
Nilofar Rahmani, the first female pilot of Afghanistan to be trained inside the country earned her flying wing in May after graduating from Undergraduate Pilot Training. She is also the first female pilot to be trained in the Afghan Air Force in more than 30 years.
Armenia's Defense Ministry announced that, for the first time, women could be students at the nation's military schools.
Norway's parliament voted to conscript women into its armed forces, thus making Norway the first European and first NATO country to make military service compulsory for both genders.
16 female students passed the final evaluation to become fighter-pilots and received their bachelor's degrees at a graduation ceremony in Shijiazhuang Aviation College in North China's Hebei province on June 25, 2013, thus becoming China's first female fighter-pilots.
Army. Lieutenant Ganeve Lalji became the first-ever female officer to be posted as the aide-de-camp (French for field assistance) of a top general in the army of India.
The first female commanding officer of a helicopter squadron at RAF Shawbury, Becky Frater, started work. The squadron is 705 Naval Air Squadron (NAS), one of the two basic helicopter training squadrons at the Defence Helicopter Flying School (DHFS) at RAF Shawbury.
On July 5, Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro promoted Carmen Melendez to admiral-in-chief rank and appointed her as the first female minister of defense in the history of Venezuela.
Sergeant Sophie Hobson, 35, who is based at RAF Brize Norton, became the first female ground engineer (GE) to work on the Hercules aircraft.
Pakistan's first group of female paratroopers completed their training. Captain Kiran Ashraf was declared the best paratrooper of the batch of 24, the military said in a statement, while Captain Sadia, referred to by one name, became the first female officer in the Pakistan military to jump from a MI-17 helicopter.
Lieutenant Colonel Bobeth O’Garro was confirmed as the Commandant for the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps, thus becoming the first female Commandant to lead a Corps in the Caribbean region.
The Royal Air Force appointed Elaine West as its first ever woman to hold the position of Air Vice-Marshal, and the U.K. military said it would encourage women to aim for high-ranking careers. As Air Vice-Marshal Elaine West had the highest rank a woman in the British military had ever held at the time.
For the first time in Myanmar's history, the Ministry of Defense invited women to join the army in jobs other than army nurse. An advertisement in the Myanmar Ahlin newspaper said the new cadets must be single, at least 5 feet, 3 inches (160 centimeters) tall, between 25 and 30 years of age, and weigh no more than 130 pounds (59 kilograms). The ad said successful candidates would be offered commissioned posts, starting as second lieutenants.
In a first, a female IDF [Israel Defense Forces] soldier was called up to the Torah during a service on a military base.
Private Elise Toft became the first Norwegian woman to be awarded a combat medal since World War II; she was honored for efforts during fighting in Afghanistan in 2011.
Luzviminda Camacho became the first female Filipino officer to head a Philippine peacekeeping force.
The Israeli Defense Forces announced they will, for the first time, allow a (MTF) transgender woman to serve in the army as a female soldier.
Sri Lanka's military admitted its soldiers had abused and tortured women recruits.
Myanmar’s military appointed its first women representatives to parliament; the two, Lieutenant-Colonel Soe Soe Myint and Lieutenant-Colonel San Thida, were sworn in to the lower house of parliament in 2014.
Antonette Wemyss-Gorman became the first female commanding officer in the Jamaica Defence Force's Coast Guard.
South Korean female soldiers will be able to apply to all combat roles in the Army starting this year, as part of the military's efforts to integrate more women into closed units, the defense ministry said. The Army will allow all female soldiers and noncommissioned officers to apply for artillery and armored units and air defense forces in a bid to lower the gender barrier. The Navy is set to allow female soldiers except in four special forces units, including the Underwater Demolition Team, Underwater Demolition Unit, Ship Salvage Unit and Communications Intelligence Team. The Army Military Academy will also open the door for 20 female cadets next year for the first time since its establishment in 1968. The ministry plans to increase the number of female officers and noncommissioned officers to 7 percent and 5 percent of the total forces, respectively, by 2015.
The German Navy appointed Janine Asseln as its first female submarine officer.
Members of the Pershore and District branch of the Royal British Legion appointed Lt Col Susan Payne as the branch's first female president.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian presented a report on the problem of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the French military and announced the French military's first effort to fix it. The report cited 86 reported cases of sexual assault or harassment since the start of 2013 alone.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced that three women would join a nuclear submarine crew by 2017, which would be a first for France.
Over the weekend of May 24–25, women in the villages of Attagara and Kawuri in Borno state, Nigeria disarmed 10 Boko Haram insurgents who tried to attack their communities, and lynched four of the attackers.
Mariam Hassan Salem al-Mansouri became the first Emirati woman to hold the rank of fighter pilot in the United Arab Emirates Air Force.
Major General Kristin Lund, from Norway, became the first woman appointed to command a United Nations peacekeeping force. She was appointed as the commander of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus.
Algeria appointed three women army Generals, making it the Arab country with the biggest number of high-ranking female army commanders at the time. Another female General had previously been appointed by the Algerian President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika in Nov. 2010 as the first general of the Armée Nationale Populaire (ANP) or People’s National Army.
A group of South Korean former comfort women, who were forced to work in state-controlled brothels for the U.S. military after the 1950-53 Korean War, filed a lawsuit demanding compensation from the authorities for forced prostitution. This marks the first time that such legal action was taken regarding the brothels, or “special areas,” that were sanctioned by the South Korean government.
The Women’s League of Burma put out a statement citing the harassment of Chin women activists by authorities for their involvement in protests calling for greater women’s rights and an end to sexual violence in Burma as evidence that the Burma Army protects rapists that belong to it.
Third Warrant Officer Shirley Ng became the first female Red Lion parachutist to jump at the National Day Parade in Singapore.
The Israel Defense Forces Artillery Corps opened its elite unit to female soldiers for the first time. Six female soldiers from last August’s draft class passed the physical aptitude tests that allow them to join the elite Moran, Meitar, and Skyrider units, part of the Artillery Corps’ David’s Sling Formation.
For the first time in more than half a century, a class of women military cadets graduated from Burma’s Defense Services Academy.
The Nicaraguan government announced the first woman, Miriam del Socorro Morales, to reach the level of colonel in Nicaragua. She is a colonel in the national army.
It is reported that about 1/3 of the members of Syrian Kurdish "People's Protection Units" (YPG), guerrilla offshoots of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) who fight the Islamic State (IS), are women.
Two female soldiers in the South Korean army, Staff Sgt. Kim Min Kyoung and Staff Sgt. Kwon Min Zy, earned the American Expert Infantryman Badge, making them the first women, Korean or American, to do so.
Colonel Leena Gaurav of the Indian Army’s Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) branch became the first female officer in India to attain the Colonel rank in a branch of service other than the Army Medical Corps.
Maj. Gal became the first woman chosen as Israeli Air Force deputy squadron commander.
For the first time in India's history, a special squad of women troops was deployed deep inside jungles to undertake active and prolonged operations against Naxalites.
Tamanna-E-Lutfy became the first female pilot to fly solo in Bangladesh Air Force; she completed her first solo flight by ‘Bell-206’ helicopter in the BAF Base Bir Sreshto Matiur Rahman in Jessore.
Flight Lieutenant Nayma Haque and Flying Officer Tamanna-E-Lutfi, both officers of Bangladesh Air Force, became the first female combat pilots of Bangladesh.
In July 2014, Deepika Misra became the first woman pilot ever to join a formation display team in India, when she joined the Indian Air Force's helicopter display team Sarang.
Hsieh Shu-chen became Taiwan's first female Army ranger.
For the first time, all-women contingents of air force, army, and navy personnel marched in India's Republic Day parade.
Danielle Welch, the first woman to become a Royal Navy "ab-initio" Lynx helicopter pilot ("ab-initio" meaning she trained from start to finish on the same aircraft) received her wings from Prince Andrew.
North Korea is making military service mandatory for young women in a bid to strengthen the nation’s armed forces, sources inside North Korea told DailyNK. The measure is said to apply to women aged between 17 and 20, and has been handed down to mobilization offices in each province, city, and county. “Unlike men, who have to serve for 10 years, mandatory service for women is only up to the age of 23,” the source said.
A German woman became the first female Westerner to die fighting ISIS after she was killed alongside Kurdish forces in a battle for the Syrian town Tal Tamr, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
Gina Reque Teran, 53, was officially promoted to general, thus becoming Bolivia's first female army general. She is the daughter of retired general Luis Reque Teran, who led the final operation against Che Guevara.
Indian Navy Dornier crashed during a night sortie, and Lieutenant Kiran Shekhawat was among those who died there, making her the first female Indian officer to die in the line of duty. Lt Kiran Shekhawat was in combat role as an observer, flying tactical sorties over ocean and for tracking and engaging with hostile ships illegally crossing maritime boundaries.
^The State of the World's Human Rights[dead link], Amnesty International 2009, Report on Jan–Dec 2008, p. 272: "In June , the Office of the Prosecutor General announced that it had finished its investigation into the killing of human rights journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was shot dead in Moscow in October 2006. Three men accused of involvement in her murder went on trial in November; all denied the charges. A fourth detainee, a former member of the Federal Security Services who had initially been detained in connection with the murder, remained in detention on suspicion of another crime. The person suspected of shooting Anna Politkovskaya had not been detained by the end of the year and was believed to be in hiding abroad."