A female Air Force officer has completed a rigorous special warfare course and will move on to the next program within the Special Tactics Officer training pipeline, making her the first woman to advance this far within battlefield officer specialty training.

The Special Tactics Officer (STO) candidate, who is unidentified for privacy reasons, was recently selected to start the next iteration of the training pipeline following her successful completion of the “STO Phase 2 Assessment” conducted by Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), according to 1st Lt. Jeremy Huggins, a spokesman for the Special Warfare Training Wing.

“She has successfully completed the Special Tactics/Guardian Angel Assessment and Selection Course, the first course for STOs within the Special Warfare Training Wing, and she is now awaiting the Pre-Dive Course,” Huggins said in an email to Military.com on Monday. “As such, she has proceeded farther in the pipeline than any female pursuing Pararescue, Combat Control, Special Reconnaissance, Special Tactics Officer or Combat Rescue Officer specialties.”

Four women have attempted STO or the Combat Rescue Officer (CRO) specialties, including the current candidate, according to AFSOC spokeswoman 1st Lt. Alejandra Fontalvo.

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