"I wanted something that was hands-on. Challenging," she said. "So, I thought this was a good way to get that. ... It's just another challenge. I guess it kind of motivated me."

Then-Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno discussed the Army's plan to open parts of field artillery to women in an interview with Army Times in August, saying that "we felt women, as part of an artillery crew, could do all the things necessary to do that [job], so we've opened that up."

"We always recruit for the Army; we don't really recruit for specific MOSs," said Staff Sgt. Chris Clements, who conducted Corgan's initial Army interview and praised her desire to serve.

Pvt. Julie Corgan, right, poses with recruiter Staff Sgt. Chris Clements shortly after her enlistment.

Photo Credit: Army

Corgan heads to basic training in January in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, then to five weeks of Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Before that, she'll be part of the Future Soldier Training Program, learning military basics like rank insignia.

"He didn't really want me to join at first; he wanted me to finish school and then think about joining," said Corgan, who had attended college in pursuit of a career as a pharmacist but felt she needed to change paths. "Once I decided that, he definitely supported me."

The fire support specialist MOS, 13F, is the only 13-series MOS still closed to female soldiers. Troops in that specialty frequently embed with infantry and armor units currently closed to women; officials have said a decision on opening the 13F MOS to women will come when the gender makeup of those units is addressed.

Clements said the new MOS openings were attracting mixed, but mostly positive, interest from potential female recruits.

"Some of the applicants are really excited about it, and some are still interested in the other jobs, the logistical, human resources-type stuff," he said.