The Navy and Air Force plan to select female officers through a college-based training program for the first time this year, following the Army in giving women more opportunities in the military, officials said Wednesday.
The Navy and Air Force will pick a total of 10 female cadets for the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, while the Army will recruit 250 female ROTC cadets this year, officials at the defense ministry said.
"A total of 260 female ROTC cadets will be selected this year," said a ministry official. "The move is a part of efforts to expand women's role in the military."
The Army opened the ROTC program to women last year for the first time since it began in 1963, picking 60 female cadets from seven selected universities.
From this year, female students in all of South Korea's universities will be allowed to enroll into the program to become Army officers, the ministry said early this week.
Until last year, female university students were barred from entering the ROTC program, which critics say is discriminatory.
Since 1998, women have been allowed to enter military academies. The ministry plans to increase the ratio of female officers to 6.3 percent by 2016 from the current 4 percent. (Yonhap News)