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Myanmar army seeks first female applicants

October 16, 2013

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — For the first time in Myanmar’s history, the Ministry of Defense is inviting women to join the army.

An advertisement in the Myanmar Ahlin newspaper says 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).

Though they won’t be called on to fight, the ad said successful candidates would be offered commissioned posts, starting as second lieutenants.

Myanmar’s army once enjoyed widespread popularity for fighting for independence from British colonial rule, but support plummeted following military coups in 1962 and 1988.

The invitation to women follows the installation two years ago of a nominally civilian government.

In the past, women could be army nurses, but that was it.

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