Tammy Grace Barnett took the oath of enlistment Thursday at Military Entrance Processing Station Shreveport. She plans to serve in military occupational specialty 11X, one of a series of MOSs that opened to women April 1.
Barnett initially visited Army recruiters in November, she said in an Army news release. She told TV station KSLA that she'd planned to enter the military police ranks, "but infantry is similar, and they are more on the front lines, like law enforcement here, and I said that's what I want to do."
She'll head to Fort Benning, Georgia, in June 2017 for basic training. The 14-month delay "is to allow the Army to properly prepare for new trainees by having trained female officers and [noncommissioned officers] in position," Army Recruiting Battalion Baton Rouge public affairs chief Roger Harmon said via email. "This allows female soldiers the opportunity to attend training and serve in a MOS previously only available to male soldiers."
Another MOS gender barrier fell recently at a recruiting station in Horseheads, a central New York town about 15 miles from the Pennsylvania border. There, Kaitlyn Stanton enlisted as a fire support specialist (MOS 13F), which opened to women April 1 along with 11-series specialties and other combat-related jobs.
Another female 13F recruit is set to enlist early next week in the Seattle area, a Recruiting Command spokesman said.
Barnett plans to celebrate her gender-equity milestone by going fishing with family this weekend. She's also already made some career plans.
"I have served the front lines in my hometown ... and now I am going to serve the front lines for my country," Barnett said in the release. "I want to deploy, see action, and I definitely want to go to Airborne school."
Kevin Lilley is the features editor of Military Times.