A female soldier will command infantry troops for the first time having passed one of the British Army’s toughest courses.The soldier, whose name has been withheld for security reasons, attended the course at the Infantry Battle School in the Brecon Beacons, south Wales.Having passed the course, designed to select future infantry leaders, the Telegraph understands the woman will now transfer into a regular infantry Battalion where she could command a section of eight soldiers.The Section Commanders’ Battle Course lasts 16 weeks and is designed to select the best Junior Non-Commissioned Officers to lead infantry soldiers in combat. Soldiers attending the course as Lance Corporals will typically have served around five years and would have been marked out by senior officers as having significant leadership potential.Graduates from the course are not automatically rewarded with promotion to Corporal or appointed as one of three section commanders in a typical infantry platoon.However, passing such an arduous and lengthy test generally marks the individual out as one to watch, with advancement up the ranks usually following in short order. Whilst women have served in combat for many years – the traditional understanding of the ‘front line’ – they have been confined to such roles as intelligence specialists, pilots, linguists and medics. This is the first time a woman has completed the Section Commanders’ Battle Course and been eligible to serve in the infantry alongside male colleagues.The Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced in October last year that all roles in the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, including infantry units, were to be opened to females. He paid tribute at the time to the “phenomenal” women already serving in the military. “Women should be judged on their skills and capability,” she said. “The bergen (military rucksack) doesn’t know if you’re male or female.”Parity is paramount. Women need to know they are there because they deserve to be, not because they are a token female.”Women have served in the military since the days of the SOE (the Special Operations Executive; Britain’s wartime spies operating in Nazi-occupied Europe). It was never considered a male or female thing, service was based on competence.”The Army can now choose on skill and ability rather than gender.” Soldiers choose the most covered route as they prepare to attack an enemy position. The Telegraph understands the unnamed woman passed all the tests to the same exacting standards as her male counterparts.Alice Bromage, a former Major who served in the Army for 17 years with operational tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, considered it a great achievement. Soldiers on the Section Cammanders’ Battle Course tackle Jacob’s Ladder, the eastern ascent of Pen Y Fan in the Brecon Beacons. The Section Commanders’ Battle Course consists of eight weeks of live firing on ranges and a demanding tactics phase lasting equally as long. Hosted in the unforgiving landscape of south Wales, troops are tested in how to organise defensive positions and plan attacks, whilst being pushed to the limits of exhaustion on numerous fitness tests.On arrival, troops have to complete the standard Army Fitness Test: an eight-mile march conducted in the hills around Brecon, carrying 55 lbs of kit with a time limit of one hour 55 minutes. Failure to pass means the soldier is immediately sent back to their unit. Troops must also pass a three-mile run carrying equipment in under 30 minutes. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.