The Fort Hood Herald has posted an article about female US army soldiers serving as tank mechanics in South Korea as part of the 1st Cavalry Division.
The Army job of “M1A1 tank system maintainer” — also known under its military occupational specialty as 91 Alpha — opened up to women in 2013.
It was previously closed to women; not because it’s a front-line job that involves shooting directly at the enemy, but rather because it involves being in a front-line unit, repairing the tanks in quick fashion so they can return to the fight.
Pfc. Evelyn Gomez and Pfc. Kelley McKeon are both tank mechanics in 1st Brigade’s 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment — a combat unit outfitted with battle tanks. Years ago, women in the unit were unheard of.
“I was the only female in my platoon,” said Gomez, 23, recalling when she arrived to the unit last year.
Now, Gomez and McKeon, 19, are both part of the battalion’s Charlie Company, which has about a dozen tanks, dozens of tankers to operate the vehicles and a handful of maintenance personnel. That’s where Gomez and McKeon fit in.