Slovenia becomes first NATO country to appoint a woman head of its armed forces

Slovenia becomes first NATO country to appoint a woman head of its armed forces
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Slovenia has appointed a woman to lead its armed forces, becoming the first NATO member state to do so.

Maj. Gen. Alenka Ermenc, who currently serves as the army’s deputy chief of staff, will become the chief of the general staff this week, according to the BBC

Ermenc, 55, has served in the military since 1991, when Slovenia declared independence from Yugoslavia.

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She graduated from the Royal College of Defense Studies in London and acquired a master’s degree in international studies at London’s King’s College University.

She will replace Maj. Gen. Alan Geder in leading Slovenia’s 7,500 active and reserve soldiers.

Slovenian President Borut Pahor said he hopes Ermenc will help the military improve, after an army brigade failed a NATO combat readiness test earlier this year, according to the BBC.

“The global trend of a deteriorating security situation continues and even though Slovenia is not directly threatened military-wise, it must improve its military safety relatively quickly," Pahor said.