US Graduates First Female Tank Crew Member

DSC_0150.jpgAccording to the Idaho Statesman, Sgt. 1st Class Erin Smith of the Idaho Army National Guard last week became the nation’s first female enlisted soldier to graduate from the U.S. Army’s M1 Armor Crewman School.  Smith joined the Guard as a combat medic in 2001 and has served overseas tours in Bosnia in 2002 and in Iraq in 2004.  Until recently, females have historically been prohibited from serving in combat roles within the various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. However, in December of 2015, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that the U.S. military would open all positions to women, without exception. This means those occupational skills previously off limits to females, like infantry and armor, are now open to both women and men who can meet the standards set by the different military services. “I was interested in the idea of being an Army tanker long before talk about integration so when the opportunity came up I decided to go for it,” Smith said. “It was intimidating at first—the fear of failure or not being good enough—but it’s been an awesome experience.”

Full article here.


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