There are some unfamiliar faces running around Sand Hill as of Tuesday — female faces.
The Army's infantry school at Fort Benning, Georgia, welcomed its first class of 11X basic trainees this week, more than a year after the Defense Department lifted the ban on women serving in combat occupational specialties.
Among them is Takiyah Carroll, a 19-year-old Maryland native, one of 145 women working their way through infantry training this year, according to a Tuesday release from the Army.
"Friends told me that I'm crazy," Carroll said in the release, "and my mom was kind of tense" about her daughter putting herself in harm's way.
The first class to include women in infantry basic training is due to graduate on May 19, according to the release.
They're also some of the first to pass a new physical fitness test specific to the tougher jobs in the Army.
Carroll destroyed the Occupational Physical Assessment, which went into effect this year and is adjusted for each MOS, according to her recruiter.
The recruit lifted 225 pounds in the deadlift event, where the requirement was 160, Sgt. 1st Class Lee Meadowcroft said in the release.
"It's about time," he said of opening combat arms to women.
Infantry recruit Takiyah Carroll practices her deadlift. She and more than a hundred are reporting as Fort Benning's first female infantry basic trainees this year.
Photo Credit: David Vergun/Army
Enlisted infantry roles will be the latest in a line of combat jobs opening to women since early 2016.
In anticipation of a decision on lifting the ban, the Army opened the notoriously tough Ranger school to women in 2015, when a military police officer and an AH-64 helicopter pilot completed the training.
Eight months later, one of those women — Capt. Kristen Griest — became the Army's first infantry officer. She was followed in October by 10 women who were the first to complete the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course.
In December, 13 women joined the Armor officer corps ahead of the first class of enlisted female armor soldiers.
And one woman, whose identity is being kept confidential, will become the first member of the 75th Ranger Regiment when she reports this spring.
More than 500 women are slated to join combat MOSs this year, according to U.S. Army Recruiting Command statistics.
That includes a potential 164 combat engineers, 90 cannon crewmembers, 45 fire support specialists, 43 cavalry scouts, 32 armor crewmen, among other jobs.