USARAF Soldiers help integrate women into Botswana military

VICENZA, Italy – Recently, the U.S. Army dropped the ban on women in combat arms military occupation specialties, which was a huge step forward for women in the military. As the U.S. Army takes a bold move with dropping the ban, the Botswana Defense Force is making similar personnel changes by having a Woman’s Integration working group to allow Botswanan females a chance to be enlisted soldiers within the BDF.

During the working group, Col. Sara V. Simmons, U.S. Army Africa G1 director, and Sgt. Maj. Carolina D. Johnson, USARAF equal opportunity sergeant major, traveled to the BDF Headquarters from April 5 through 12 to share their successes and also some of the challenges women currently still have in the U.S. Army.

“We went down to talk with members of the BDF to establish a women’s integration work group that consisted of about 35 males and females. The leadership wanted to have enlisted females a part of BDF. Currently [there are only female] officers. When you integrate females into a force, you’re going to make sure that integration is seamless and it doesn’t disrupt the balance or the morale of current force,” Simmons, a Johns Island, S.C. native said.

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