First Women Enlisted in the Bundeswehr (January 3, 2001)
The photo shows the recruits Annett Selzer (20 years old) from Jena (left) and Daniela Huberr (19 years old) from Straubing (right) in a dressing room in the Arnulf Barracks in Roding in Upper Palatinate. These two soldiers were among the first 244 women to report to army, air force, and navy barracks on January 2, 2001, to train for armed combat. One year earlier, the European Court of Justice had ruled that the Bundeswehr needed to open its ranks to women, who had previously served only in the medical and music corps. The proportion of women in the Bundeswehr has increased steadily ever since, reaching 8.6 percent in 2009. Woman soldiers have also served on Bundeswehr foreign missions, but mandatory military service still only applied to men. Photo: Stefan Kiefer.