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Korean army’s first female tank driver

Posted January. 17, 2018 08:47,   

Updated January. 17, 2018 09:15


The position of a tank driver in the army is no longer held only by male military officers. Lim Hyun-jin, a staff sergeant of the infantry division in the army, has become the nation’s first and only female tank driver, according to the army on Tuesday. Lim, 24, is taking part in the five-day winter training, which started on Monday despite frigid weather to hone her skills as a driver for the K1A2 battle tank.

As the army abolished its gender limits for all soldiers and positions in 2014, Lim became the first female sergeant to be commissioned in the armored branch in September 2015. In the following December, she began her first military assignment as a tank gunner at the Capital Mechanized Infantry Division, and in September 2016, she changed her position to tank driver, becoming the first and only female soldier to take the job. Lim has since driven the tank more than 2,000 kilometers.

According to the army, Lim chose to serve in the armored branch after being captivated by the overwhelming power of tanks in ground battle, which are often called the “emperor of ground forces” for its ability to destroy the enemy lines in the shortest time. On top of her driving skills refined through intense training, Lim is also recognized for having a delicate driving sense as a woman, the army said.

“I will do my utmost to accomplish my mission to become a top-notch tank driver for the mechanized division, where quick mobility is considered most important,” she said. “I want to become a tank driver respected by my fellow soldiers and a role model for would-be female soldiers.”

Hyo-Ju Son hjson@donga.com