Army Sgt. is first female to graduate cavalry scout school at Fort Hood

U.S. Army Sgt. Kayci Landes, an attack helicopter repairer assigned to 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, 7th Infantry Division, I Corps, is congratulated by Col. William A. Ryan, 16th CAB commander, following a re-enlistment ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., May 4. Landes became the first female Soldier to re-enlist in the Army as military occupational specialty 19D, cavalry scout.

The US Army has announced that for the first time in history, a woman has graduated as a cavalry scout.

Sgt. Kayci Landes –an AH-64 attack helicopter repairer — will now join the 17th Cavalry on Fort Hood to continue practicing her scouting skills. About six months ago, she became the first female to re-enlist for MOS 19D cavalry scout during a ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

When Landes became a soldier five and a half years ago, there were still some restrictions for females in the military. So the mother of four, who’d always wanted to be a combat MOS, wasn’t sure if her dreams were ever going to come true.

But she never gave up.

“Follow your dreams. Keep at it. I joined the military and I had to wait five years to follow my dreams, so it can happen,” she said.

When the Army announced it would begin integrating women in all MOS’s back in March, she was the first to sign up. Women would now be able to serve in infantry, armor and Special Forces. Landes had to do 200 hours of intense training with the National Guard to earn the title of cavalry scout.

“There were definitely some hard moments,” she says, but adds that she likes a challenge and is very stubborn. “This job is a lot more intricate than I thought and it’s interesting and I want to know more about it.”

Army Sgt. Stephen Conwill, a trainer with the Texas National Guard said, “I think she had some dedication and she was motivated to complete all the tasks here at the schoolhouse and she did a good job.”

While Landes has said that she’s just “doing the job I’m trying to do,” and doesn’t really consider herself a trailblazer, she still hopes her experience will encourage other women to take on special roles in the Army.

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  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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