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The Squadette

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"Where ya gonna find another girl who can shoot the eye out of a Bug at two hundred meters?"

The Squad will often include a female to widen the demographic appeal (to women and, er, young men).

Fills the role that was used primarily for minority characters in earlier times. A lone black or Japanese soldier fighting in an otherwise all-white, American World War II unit was its most common form, despite being totally unrealistic since the US Armed forces did not integrate their combat units until 1948, 3 years after the end of the war.

A particularly strange trope in countries where women are specifically barred from serving on the front line. However, sometimes this may be explained as being a test for determining whether or not to lift this barring. Other times, circumstances may force female troops not serving in combat positions to take this role because modern war contains no real front lines. Or it could be a science fiction or fantasy setting where such restrictions are a thing of the past (or they never existed in the first place).

If the Squadette is particularly skilled, she's also an Action Girl. There's rarely more than one due to The Smurfette Principle; if The Squad is all Squadettes, you get the Amazon Brigade. If The Squadette has to disguise herself as a man, she's Sweet Polly Oliver. A Squadette isn't unusual or token in a society where Gender Is No Object.

The secondary character version generally falls into two categories: the Ms. Fanservice who typically leaps and bounces around in implausibly revealing or form-fitting gear, or the tough, grubby tomboy who is usually more convincing as a warrior but also less likely to survive the story.

Boyish Short Hair is common but not obligatory. May also be a Ladette, but this is not a mandatory trait. On the other hand, if she remains feminine and elegant while being a competent fighter, she may be a Lady of War.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Area 88: Kitori in the TV series; Sela in manga issues that did not make it stateside.
  • Aruosumente:
    • Lamia, a Tomboy with a Girly Streak, is Rucetta's second-in-command and the only woman seen serving in his outfit during the backstory.
    • Girly Bruiser Rita Rina, Lante's second-in-command, is also the only female knight shown, kicking ass with the best of them during the tournament.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Fasha (Celipa in the original Japanese version) is the only female in Bardock's squad, and she was the only named female Saiyan character at all for over two decades. Fasha is tomboyish, attractive, and cold but loyal to Bardock. She also couldn't care less for royalty, as seen in the video games whenever she faces Vegeta or his dad. She is also the only female Saiyan who is shown to become a great ape.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist, in general. This is a universe which seems to have a universal draft or at least equal opportunities for women, as there's a pretty large percentage of female soldiers, including Riza Hawkeye, Olivier Armstrong, Maria Ross, Rebecca Catalina, and a decent number of background soldiers, overall amounting ten to fifteen perfect of the soldiers shown. Martel was also once a soldier before she became a Chimera.
  • In Ghost in the Shell, Major Kusanagi is the only female member of Section 9. In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, flashbacks to the team's military careers show that she was also the only female member then, too.
  • Hellsing: Seras Victoria in the first episode. All things considered maybe she shouldn't have been there...although she did noticeably better than the rest of the troop. After that, she gets promoted to full-on Action Girl. This is not the case in the original manga and Ultimate anime, as there she was just an ordinary constable who stumbled onto a case that was way too big for her and somehow ended up surviving longer than everyone else in town did. Her eventual promotion to Action Girl still happens, though, especially when she awakens to her full vampiric power. The appearance of a woman on a SWAT Team (or the equivalent) used to be fictional, but women have been represented more and more in real life.
  • Library War: Iku Kasahara is the first woman to join the elite Library Task Force.
  • Carta Issue from Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans is the sole prominent female Gjallarhorn officer in the entire organization, the reason why she was assigned to Outer Earth Orbit Regulatory Joint Fleet, a ceremonial fleet without combat experience, was to get herself out of the way. The rest of the organization is entirely run by men, and even the most prominent female politician, Henri Fleurs, is an Unwitting Pawn to one of them.

    Comic Books 
  • In Arak: Son of Thunder, Valda the Iron Maiden was the female knight of Charlemagne's court, and was regarded as the equal in bravery and martial prowess of any of her male comrades.
  • Combat Kelly and his Deadly Dozen, a Marvel Comics World War II comic, had Laurie Livingston who was arrested for stealing from US Army supply depots as its sole female member.
  • Heller, the sole female member of Hunter's Hellcats. Gets a pass on the realism as the Hellcats are a special ops unit of Boxed Crooks the brass regards as Surprisingly Elite Cannon Fodder. As such, Lt. Hunter is granted leeway on how he recruits for the unit. Heller was originally recruited for a mission that specifically required a female, and proved so useful he decided to keep her on.
  • The Losers: Although never an official member of the squad, Norwegian partisan Ona Tomsen filled this role for a time in this DC Comics series.
  • The New Universe of Marvel had Jenny Swensen, who became this when her MAX armor was co-opted by the Army.
  • Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja has Sgt. Debra Levin, a 19-year-old Green Beret and the only female in the suicide mission to extract John Doe.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. As a reflection of Real Life, the Archie comics version had a female Middle Eastern soldier with special powers.
  • X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Brash, tomboyish Plourr is the only woman in the squadron at first. Five others join, leaving or dying over the course of the comics. They're all quite distinct and non-stereotyped but are still outnumbered nearly two to one by men in the squadron.

    Comic Strips 
  • Technically, the lead character of Wally Wood's Sally Forth qualifies, as she began as a recruit in Lt. Dahl's commando unit.

    Fan Works 
  • Mothra in The Bridge is this to an extent. There are other female kaiju, both in-universe and in-story; and considering the other franchise included in the crossover; she's far from the only main female character. But she is the only female member out of the core four benign kaiju, Godzilla, Anguirus, and Rodan all being male.
  • Inverted in A.A. Pessimal's Discworld fic Gap Year Adventures, where the role of Squadette is taken by junior student Assassin Horst Lensen in an otherwise all-female team. Horst realizes he is very much the junior squad member. Read more here

    Film — Animated 
  • Mulan: While shown as a Lady of War in ancient Chinese literature and various live-action films, the Disneyfied version of the character is portrayed more as in this trope, which is somewhat justifiable as the character is just fresh out of training. However, none of her later exploits are shown and she becomes combat competent only towards the end of the film.
  • Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun in Wreck-It Ralph commands a squad that is battling creatures called "Cy-Bugs", whose existence resulted from an experiment gone wrong. Her initially cold personality is the result of losing her fiancé on their wedding day.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • ''Aliens' actually has three female Marines, but Dietrich and Ferro are killed early on, meaning Vasquez is the only female soldier in the cast for the majority of the film.
  • Avatar: out of all the Private Military Contractors on Pandora, Trudy the Ace Pilot is the only woman.
  • Battle: Los Angeles: Santos is a tough female Marine who fits in perfectly with her male comrades. There are no other female armed services personnel seen.
  • Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger is this aesthetically, as she's not technically a member of the squad, but she is their superior. The only other woman is a Sexy Secretary.
  • Cliffhanger: The only member of his team Qualen actually admires is Action Girl Kristel, who's smarter than the rest of his mooks (when making the fake distress call, she claims that one of their party is running out of insulin so the rescue team won't wait till after the storm). Despite this, Qualen ruthlessly kills her to force the hand of a rebellious team member.
  • Courage Under Fire: Captain Karen Walden (Meg Ryan). She's a medical chopper pilot, but the movie revolves around her having to take this role when she and her crew are shot down in enemy territory.
  • Doomsday: Eden Sinclair finds herself in charge of a team to go into Scotland and retrieve the cure for the virus. Read is the only female squaddie. Eden herself wouldn't count, as she's a cop.
  • Down Periscope: Lt. Lake (Lauren Holly). At the time the movie was released, the US Navy did not permit women to serve on submarines. Justified, however, as she's explained as being a test case for doing so. A running gag is that the admiral running the other side in the war game is also assigning the crew and stacking the deck; her assignment is a calculated attack on crew morale and discipline.
  • Edge of Tomorrow has Nance, the token Action Girl of J Squad. While Rita is also an Action Girl and a major protagonist, she's not part of that squad.
  • G.I. Jane: Lt. Jordan O'Neil (Demi Moore). The US Navy didn't and still does not permit women to be in Special Ops. Justified, as the whole plot of the movie is her being a test case for doing so.
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: Scarlett is the lone female of GI Joe, as Cover Girl is demoted to merely being a secretary who is killed shockingly, and The Baroness is of course the only female fighting for Cobra.
  • Iron Eagle II: Valeri Zuyeniko, despite the fact that the Soviet Union stopped using female combat pilots after World War II.
  • The Kingdom: Janet Mayes (Jennifer Garner). Justified in that she is an FBI agent. Currently 18% of FBI agents are female, it would not be terribly unlikely for her to appear. Now the question of whether they would send her to Saudi Arabia is a different story.
  • An Officer and a Gentleman: Casey Seeger who wants to be the Navy's first female aviator, which wasn't allowed at the time of the movie's release but now is.
  • Predators has a group of various soldiers dropped onto an alien planet. Isabelle the sniper is the only woman.
  • Resident Evil (2002): of the Commandos sent to find out what happened in The Hive, Rain is the most prominent Action Girl. There is a female medic, but she is the first one killed.
  • S.W.A.T. (2003): Police Officer Third Grade Chris Sánchez (again Michelle Rodriguez). American women are allowed to join SWAT teams, although it is still rare for a woman to do so. Here is an article about a woman who is part of an American SWAT team.
  • Wake of Death: This otherwise forgettable Jean-Claude Van Damme movie has a female US Army officer wearing a Combat Infantryman's Badge, which only men can receive as women are not permitted in Infantry (11) or Special Forces (18) series MOS.



Individual works

  • Bazil Broketail: Non-human example. Bazil and Relkin's unit included a single dragoness twice in the series. The first one was Nesessitas a.k.a. Nessi, who was killed in the arena of Tummuz Orgmeen. The second one was Alsebra, who is still alive and kicking at the series finale.
  • Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM) is attached to the mixed-gender 597th Valhallan regiment for most of his career, created by shoving the remains of an all-male and an all-female regiment together. In Warhammer 40,000, such regiments are less common than all-female ones, as maybe 10% of the Imperial Guard are women.
  • Ender's Game: Petra Arkanian, the lone girl of Battle School (at least the only one who plays a role in the plot or is described by name).
  • The Forever War: Has a near-even mix of male and female with most women being Squadettes, plus co-ed locker rooms and bunks— it's literally mandatory to share a bed, at least before the first Time Skip.
  • The Guns of the South: The Harry Turtledove alternate history novel had Molly Bean, a prostitute who served with the Castalia Invincibles on the side of the Confederacy. She was disguised as her "cousin" Melvin Bean to hide her femininity (She was flat-chested, which helped). For the record, there was an actual Molly Bean in the Real Life Invincibles, but she was discovered and kicked out (Turtledove couldn't find out her actual job, so he speculated that she was a prostitute).
  • The H.I.V.E. Series features two, the first being Raven, an adult, who acts as a Cool Big Sis to Alpha squad four, which is made up of a bunch of teenagers. In squad four is Shelby, who is also a squadette.
  • In Honor Harrington the Manticoran and Havenite military forces are completely gender-neutral so there are plenty of examples. The Grayson Space Navy was male-only until the second novel and is slowly changing.
  • In the Swedish fantasy novel Spiran och Staven (The Sceptre and the Quarterstaff) women of the Zaki people that choose to go the male way of life may become warriors. The competent officer Sorana serves as an unexpected mercenary in the novel's main military conflict, which takes place far away from the Zaki empire.
  • The Malazan Book of the Fallen: has a number of examples. Blend, Picker, and Smiles to name a few of Imperial Marines that are in the various armies. Not to mention Sorry from the first book.
  • Vin in Mistborn: The Original Trilogy is the only female member of Kelsier's Crew (in the first book, at any rate. In the second they are joined by Tyndwyl and in the third by Allriane).
  • Spyder in the Myth Adventures novel M.Y.T.H. Inc. In Action is stated to have joined up based as part of an "experimental program", and is a punk girl who automatically bristles at authority, which doesn't go down well with the Drill Sergeant Nasty.
  • In the Temeraire series, the refusal of the acid-spitting (and thus strategically indispensable) Longwing dragon breed to accept male handlers means that Napoleonic Britain's Aerial Corps is peppered with these. This was hidden from the populace at large, the other branches of service, and the bulk of the government itself until Jane Roland made Admiral.
  • The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold has Elena Bothari-Jesek, Elli Quinn, and Taura. Also Cordelia Naismith, whose brief military career provides a lampshading.
  • The The War Gods series by David Weber has Kaeritha, especially when she's travelling with Bahzell, Brandark, and company.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe's X-Wing Series: The first and only series to have as its main heroic cast the X-Wing pilots of Rogue Squadron, was also the first series to have some of those pilots be female. The roster changes as people die or transfer out, but typically there are at least two, possibly more, in Rogue Squadron at any given time, although generally the women are outnumbered by the men. Some are human, some are not.
    • One of the comics showed four proto-Rogues before the Death Star on a mission where one of them got killed. The others went on to be in Red Squadron and survived. Those others, human men all, were Jek Porkins, Biggs Darklighter, and Wedge Antilles. The pilot who died in a Heroic Sacrifice was "Doc", a stocky female Twi'lek who seemed rather like a Twofer Token Minority.
    • Tyria Sarkin of Wraith Squadron lampshaded this trope after being flirted with by a squadronmate, asking if this was going to be one of "those" squadrons where there was one woman pilot that all the men were chasing.
    • The Rogue Squadron comic books had six female pilots and eleven males, though the squadron never had more than twelve members total. They all had strongly varied personalities and roles and the two The Big Guy characters were both very different women. These comics have one of the better records for female representation in Star Wars, with women also playing varied non-squadron roles like that of the Big Bad.
  • The Zone novels set in an Alternate History World War III. Andrea, a beautiful East German Sociopathic Soldier who is inducted into the unit because its CO Major Revell has an unhealthy fascination with her. Justified in that Revell's Ragtag Bunch of Misfits is not under anyone's direct authority, and therefore routinely replaces casualties by plundering them from other units.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Battlestar Galactica Both versions have examples of this:
    • The original in the two-parter "Lost Planet of the Gods". The fleet has a shortage of pilots, so they scrounge desperately for shuttle pilots and anybody who can fly. They're all women. These pilots are never seen again (Although some occasionally had a mention in comics), and you never see another female pilot until Sheba, and she was only introduced to be a love interest to Apollo.
    • The new one did this. Right out of the gate, you see women like Starbuck and Boomer (Kat and Caprica Six show up later on).
  • In Blake's 7 every armed resistance group or Federation base seems to have a single female member in a speaking role, while everyone else is male. There are never any female mooks in the background, silently working their way up the ranks to the position of Supreme Commander or Rebel Leader. Averted with the Seven however, where there's always Two Girls to a Team.
  • Combat Hospital shows women serving in Afghanistan in a number of roles, from doctors and nurses to chopper pilots.
  • From what we've seen of the Unification War in Firefly, Zoe Alleyne seems to be the only female who served under Malcolm Reynolds.
  • JAG: Harm had three partners on the show; Lt. Caitlin Pike in the Pilot Movie, Lt. Meg Austin for the rest of the 1st season, and Major/Lieutenant Colonel Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie for the rest of the series.
    • And of course, being a show about the military, spent numerous episodes discussing the role of women in combat. Being Backed by the Pentagon, the issue usually tilted towards acceptance.
  • Law & Order:
    • Used as a plot point in an episode. The police break up a wild hotel party being held by a group of sailors on shore leave. In one of the rooms, they find the body of a woman who they assume is a hired prostitute. Then they discover her uniform and realize that the deceased was a Lieutenant.
    • Another episode dealt with a female fighter pilot (on trial for murdering her lover), and allegations that the Navy was holding her to a lower performance standard to keep her as a recruiting tool.
  • M*A*S*H has this, justified in the fact that they're the nurses of the 4077.
  • Our Girl is about a female combat medic in an otherwise all-male British Army platoon.
  • A plot point in Phoenix. Megan Edwards, the only female member of the Major Crime Squad, is the unit's analyst. As a result she has a problem getting the detectives to take her (and by extension her job) seriously.
  • Power Rangers RPM: In this season, the Power Rangers are a team assembled by the military, and the Yellow Ranger Summer Lansdowne is the only female until the Sixth Rangers join - and they're not military, so Gemma doesn't count.
  • Red Cap has Sergeant Jo McDonough and Staff Sergeants Neve Kirland (season 1) and Harriet Frost (season 2).
  • Captain/Major/Lt. Colonel/Colonel/General Samantha "Sam" Carter, from Stargate SG-1 and later Stargate Atlantis. In her first appearance, she mentions how she accumulated over 100 hours of flight time over hostile territory in the Gulf War.
  • S.W.A.T. (2017):
    • At the start of the series, Chris is the first woman to have made SWAT. Justified Trope as the LAPD has had a 4:1 ratio of male officers to female officers as of 2013.
    • Zoe fills in the female spot on the 20 squad when Chris leaves.
  • The Unit:
    • The CBS series is a notable exception, with the only female members at Mission Control. Although they do have all the characters' wives tearing each other to pieces back home.
    • Ironically, the real-life Delta Force (on which the show is loosely based) has supposedly used women in certain situations as intelligence and non-combat field agents.
    • They DID try to incorporate Bridget "RedCap" Sullivan into the unit when she first appeared at the beginning of season 4 but for reasons unknown, they gradually moved her duties back to Mission Control and to other menial tasks.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Although she was named Sergeant Rock, Jacqueline often acted this way as the situation demanded in Cornette's Army, Smoky Mountain Wrestling branch since she wasn't afraid to do...well anything. To a lesser extent she was also this as the valet of the American Eagles Tag Team and the Acolyte Protection Agency, as she was a valet who could and would punch drop the enemies of her men on their heads if a fight happened to break out away from the ring.

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood: Ezio can recruit women into his bunch of Assassins.
    • Kinda subverted in that the gender ratio for Assassin recruits is roughly 50/50, so you'll likely end up with at least half of your brotherhood being female. Or 100%, with the Sisterhood cheat.
  • Call of Duty: Finest Hour: Lt. Tanya Pavelovna in the Eastern Front missions who assists you in one level and is playable in the next.
  • Call of Duty 2 has some blink-and-you'll-miss-it Squadettes in the Stalingrad levels, who scream incessantly at the soldiers vigorous patriotism and insult anyone who hangs back from an assault.
  • Even though COD 2 Spanish Civil War Mod has militiawomen fighting among the government troops, Marion is the only voiced character in the entire game, and also the only playable woman.
  • Conflict: Denied Ops: Carrie Sherman. Your squad is initially all-male, but she gets assigned as a replacement sniper after your previous one is captured.
  • Dark Souls II features the Afflicted Graverobber in a boss trio encountered in the Sunken City, she wears Alva's armor and dual-wields Berserker Blades.
  • Gears of War: Anya Stroud, Samantha Byrne, and Bernadette Mataki in the third game. In the first two games and the novelizations, only men do the fighting, while all fertile women are used for reproductive purposes, and all non-fertile women serve in support roles. However, by the third game, humanity is down to its last legs and needs every available body to fight.
  • Iron Grip: The Oppression: Gretchen Stoertebellor, member of a Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits resistance cell and a former bandit. Her father was both a legendary badass and an infamous pirate warlord.
  • BioWare games avert it by providing plenty of female NPCs to bring along in your squad, from straight-up action girls like Ashley Williams or Aveline Vallen to powerful magic types like Morrigan or even a Wrench Wench like Tali.
  • Resident Evil featured this with the original S.T.A.R.S. team, with Jill Valentine on Alpha Team and Rebecca Chambers on Bravo Team. Sheva fills this role as well, being the only woman shown to be taking part in the ill-fated BSAA operation.
  • Shining Resonance: Sonia Blanche became the first and only female to join the knights of Astoria because she wanted to follow in her father's footsteps. If you speak with Captain Burroughs, he tells you King Albert initially opposed the idea because he didn't want to put his daughter in harm's way. But he finally relented once he understood how much it meant to her.
  • Starcraft:The Valkyrie Frigate serves this role in the Terran arsenal, being the only damage-capable unit with a female portrait (neither the Medic nor the Dropship can actually inflict damage). In 2, the Banshee stealth bomber is present as well.
  • Depending on your personal theory on the Pyro's identity, Team Fortress 2 either plays this straight or averts this. Or maybe inverts it. We really have no idea.
  • Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 has Fox, the first female commando in the series.

    Western Animation 
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero: Both sides have some. The Joes had Scarlett, Lady Jaye, Cover Girl, Jinx, and Firewall. Cobra had a few female members, most notably The Baroness and Zarana. And in the same episode mentioned below, a bunch of female Cobra grunts showed up for the Baroness to command. There was also the occasional comparatively low-ranking female trooper or agent. In a few cases not even being named, or with any attention in the plot paid to their gender—just mooks who happened to be women.
    • Averted in one episode, where the male Joes are put out of commission by the Cobra Widget Of The Day and the above trio save the day, backed by a battalion's worth of never before (or since) seen female Joe redshirts (or greenshirts, as the case may be).
      • The comic had an issue where, in disguise, the female Joes broke up a hostage situation by appearing to be nurses and then beating the ever-living shit out of the bad guys.
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series had an episode where all the men were incapacitated, and the women had to take over (Sound familiar? See the Battlestar Galactica example above). Uhura and the first non-wimpy version of Christine Chapel ran the ship and had already solved the problem by the time men stagger back aboard.

    Real Life 
  • It is notable that in real life it is generally preferred to have several women serving together in a unit as opposed to a single woman for morale purposes. This is commonly done in fighter squadrons where there will be three or four women in a squadron or none at all.
  • Miss England 2009: Lance Corporal Katrina Hodge (who had received a commendation for bravery for disarming and downing an escaping prisoner).
  • Women in combat positions by continent and country:
  • North America:
    • Canada. The Canadian military allows women to fill all the same positions as men, apart from a very few positions on their older submarines that lack facilities for female crew members. Female soldiers were among the numerous Canadian troops fighting in Afghanistan, alongside with men.
    • The USA decided to open infantry positions to women in the early 2010's. This applies to all conventional infantry positions, while special forces units can choose to admit or deny female applicants at their own discretion.
  • Europe
    • Germany. In 2000 a female German medic successfully went to the European Court of Justice to remove restrictions for women bearing arms in the German armed forces. Her original intention was just to be allowed to receive weapon training for self defence, but it caused the German Government to officially allow women in their armed forces as soldiers. Nowadays female soldiers are a notable if still small part of their land, air, and sea forces.
    • Finland. Finnish defence forced showed green light for women to serve in the armed forces in 1992, and several women have opted to do so. They can (and do) serve in all branches and tasks, yet there are same requirements for physical performance for both sexes. Those women who do pass the physical for demanding tasks, such as Parachute Rangers, often are tough as nails. Many women, who have served, have also volunteered in UN peacekeeping missions.
      • Originally some tasks (e.g. Military Police) were designed to be forbidden from females. But enough females demanded to be given at least a chance to try and all limits were dropped.
    • Sweden has women in all infantry branches except its naval commandos.
    • Denmark similarly employs women in nearly all military positions and is one of only four countries in the world with legislation allowing for the conscription of female soldiers.
    • Spain.
    • Italy.
    • Norway made military service mandatory for both genders in 2014, making it the first NATO country to do so.
    • The Netherlands
    • Ireland has women in all service branches (with women making up 5.7% of the standing Irish force) except the elite Irish Army Rangers Wing.
    • Poland
    • Ukraine
    • The military of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland initially, did not allow women to serve in close combat roles (say, the Infantry, Royal Armoured Corps) up until 2016, when the ban was lifted. The next year, the RAF Regiment and the Royal Marines became open to women for the first time, then in 2018, women became eligible to apply for all roles in the British Armed Forces.
    • Serbia recently opened its door to female combat personnel.
    • Turkey does not employ female infantry soldiers but it is notable for having a surprisingly large number of female aircraft pilots for everything from transport planes to attack helicopters to fighter jets. In fact, the world's first female fighter pilot was Turkish.
  • Asia
    • South Korea employs women as part of the 707th Special Missions Battalion (SMB); the actual number of women who serve depends on the source, with some saying it's only a dozen or so while others say there is an entire female squadron, though it is known that the women have to undergo the same training as the boys do. It's mentioned here.
    • Taiwan. According to a NATO Review, only six of the 28 members of NATO have a greater percentage of women in their ranks than the Taiwanese Armed Forces, and only three nations actually have more women in uniform than Taiwan does. This may have something to do with the fact that the ROC Military relies on conscription of men only, and women must join the better-treated and better-paid officer corps.
    • The People's Republic of China has no gender-based restrictions and is one of the nine countries to conscript female soldiers. Women serve in all branches of the People's Liberation Army and of the People's Armed Police, making up 7.5% and 10% of the standing force respectively. This includes elite unit like the Snow Leopard Commando Unit and the Immediate Action Unit.
    • Russia. Technically does not allow women to do combat duties or become commanding officers of anything that sees combat, but that's only in peacetime. During both World Wars Russia/Soviet Union did have female soldiers, officers, and even all-female units doing actual combat. Some even were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, only given for exceptional acts of heroism or inflicting big losses to enemy.
      • Civil War-era Russia had, in fact, no Tsarist regulations still functioning and no Communist regulations yet functioning. This meant that any woman who wished so could pick up a gun and join any army, bandit gang or army that is a bandit gang. One particular subtrope was the female commissar; the pre-revolutionary Bolsheviks were egalitarian and had to send their old cadre to the frontlines en masse when the Revolution was complete and the Civil War started.
    • Pakistan allows women to volunteer for and serve within every role in the Pakistani Army and Air Force, including Infantry, Scout-Snipers, paratroopers and Special Operations Forces, though the number of women who do of is very small. The Navy is a bit more complicated, due to concerns over men and women sharing such close confines.
    • Thailand.
    • Sri Lanka employs female combat soldiers, though they are barred from special forces and (oddly) piloting aircraft.
    • The Philippines has been gender-integrated since 1993.
    • Singapore: Women can join the ranks of her professional army including many combat vocations. However they are not liable for compulsory military service like the male populace although they do have the option to volunteer to serve a short stint.
    • North Korea allows women in all roles, which makes sense since the country is basically a military empire and thus would want as many shooters as it can get its hands on.
    • Israel, one of only nine countries in the world that can conscript female soldiers and one of only two who does so regularly, along with Norway to a lesser extent since 2014. Several infantry and special forces units employ female soldiers and operators within the country and the first Muslim Arab to serve in the military (and to serve in actual combat) was a woman serving the CSAR force known as Unit 669.
  • Oceania
    • New Zealand
    • Australia plans to be this by 2016. Currently the only female combat soldiers in the Australian military serve within 4 Squadron, Special Air Service Regiment.
  • Africa
    • Libya, under Gaddafi, famously/infamously employed female soldiers, and is one of the nine countries that subject women to transcription.
    • South Africa doesn't employ female combat personnel but it is still notable for the sheer number of women in its service; 26.6% of the South African National Defence Force (1 in 4 service personnel) is female.
    • Eritrea has women in all positions from combat to special forces and women make more than 30% of the military, and is capable of drafting women.
    • The Gambia employs female soldiers in all positions and is one of the nine countries capable of conscripting female soldiers.
  • Several SWAT teams throughout the world employ or have employed female operators.
  • Thanks to the nature of the war in the Middle East (no front lines, inspections of civilians and civilian properties), more women than ever were involved in fighting and combat. See this series of articles in the NY Times.