A noncommissioned officer with the Wyoming National Guard has graduated from a two-week infantry qualification and transition course to become the Army’s first female enlisted infantry soldier, Army Times reports.
Sgt. Shelby Atkins, who served as a construction engineer before switching military occupational specialties and deployed to Bahrain, was not the only woman to attend the course, but was the only one to graduate, a Wyoming Guard spokeswoman told Army Times.
Atkins and her 32 fellow graduates, all men, will be assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 297th Infantry Regiment — the first infantry unit in the Wyoming Guard in more than 100 years.
According to the Wyoming Guard spokeswoman, the purpose of the two-week course was to train personnel for that specific unit, which is replacing the 1041st Multi-Role Bridge Company and is scheduled to activate in July.
While Atkins is the first woman to earn MOS 11b, she is not the first to don the infantry’s signature blue cord. That distinction belongs to Capt. Kristen Greist, a Ranger School graduate who became the Army’s first female infantry officer in April.
In December, Defense Secretary Ash Carter made the controversial announcement that women will no longer be prohibited from serving in combat arms units, including infantry, armor, Special Forces, and Ranger Regiment.
So far, 22 female Army cadets have been approved for assignment to the infantry and armor branches as second lieutenants, and a number of enlisted female recruits are expected to begin training for combat occupations in early 2017.
“[Atkins] is the first female Army NCO in the total Army to be granted the infantry MOS,” a National Guard Bureau spokesman told Army Times.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested on Jan. 29, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Wilmington Police Department, North Carolina.)
A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Elyse Ping Medvigy conducts a call-for-fire during an artillery shoot south of Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 22, 2014. Medvigy, a fire support officer assigned to the 4th Infantry Division's Company D, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, is the first female company fire support officer to serve in an infantry brigade combat team supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston (Photo by U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston)
Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.
So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.
R. Lee Ermey was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.
Best known for his iconic role as the Marine Corps drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the war drama Full Metal Jacket, Ermey died April 15, 2018 at age 74 due to complications from pneumonia, Task & Purpose previously reported.
A B-2 Spirit bomber deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, and F-22 Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Wing fly near Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, during a interoperability training mission Jan. 15, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Russ Scalf)
The U.S. Air Force has two of its most elite aircraft — the B-2 Spirit bomber and the F-22 Raptor — training together in the Pacific, reassuring America's allies and sending a warning to strategic competitors and adversaries about the sheer power the U.S. brings to the table.
These stunning photos show the powerful aircraft tearing across the Pacific, where the U.S. has increasingly found itself facing challenges from a rising China.