Listening intently to the briefing about field artillery at branch orientation, 6th Reg. Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Cadet Samantha Mosier, an integrated studies major at Weber State University from Ogden, Utah, was one of few women sitting in the gray metal chairs in the tent, eager to learn about one of the branches that are opening up for women.
The ROTC Cadet roamed the site at the Leader Development and Assessment Course, scanning the signs to find the tents housing the combat arms branches that she wants to be a part of. Although 16 branches were on site ready to talk to Cadets about different career opportunities, Mosier went straight for the field artillery tent.
“I’ve been looking at artillery since I joined ROTC,” said Mosier. “I am with an artillery unit in the National Guard in Utah. They are really good and they work really well with me as a Cadet.”
At her school, many of the Cadre have a background in field artillery, which has provided her with insight into a possible career path.
Mosier can now look into positions within the branch after Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced the end of the direct ground combat exclusion rule for female Soldiers in January 2013. The combat arms branches have a deadline of January 2016 to follow through, according to the U.S. Department of Defense website. Other gender-based barriers are also being looked at to amend.
“I think it is a good thing,” said Sgt. John Fluke who helped with branch orientation for Cadets. “I think it just means that there is a lot of interest coming to the field artillery branch.”
Being one of the only females sitting in the infantry tent to learn more about another branch, Mosier excitedly listened, knowing that about 184,000 positions in combat arms professions are going to be opening up to women in the next few years.
“It opens a lot of doors for us,” said 13th Reg. Cadet Charlotte Lorson, a public relations student from the University of Akron. “There are a lot of females that have the capability and it shows that we can do it too.”
With the decision made and implementation of the inclusion of women moving forward, male Cadets are looking forward to the future of a different Army where women will be in more combat oriented roles.
“It allows women to have more options of what they want to do instead of being segregated or just taped off to certain branches of the military,” said 13th Reg. Cadet Eleazar Capuz, a sociology student at the University of California at Los Angeles. “I think it is a step forward in the right direction.”
Although Mosier spent 29 days at different training sites at LDAC, it hasn’t changed her mind about what she wants to branch into.
As she walked from one tent to the other getting information to help herself choose the best suited branch, Mosier looked forward to graduation the following day, knowing upon completing training, she would have more opportunities available than female Soldiers before her did.
“This is what I wanted to do before and this is still what I want to do,” said Mosier.
Story by Sara Nahrwold.