First Texas female infantry recruit: “I am ready to deploy, it will be fun”

Two lady Texans who aren’t yet old enough to vote have signed up to join the Army Infantry, making them the first women from their state to do so.

According to The Dallas Morning News, 17-year-olds Shelby Sparkman and Hannah Carpenter raised their right hands to swear in yesterday after getting permission from their parents, giving them two slots in infantry training next summer at Fort Benning, Georgia.

“For those who don’t think women belong in the infantry, which will put them among the ground troops on the front lines, Sparkman said, “We’ll prove them wrong.”

“In my beliefs, we were created equal with the man,” said Carpenter. “We have that power, even though they think they’re higher above us. We’re equal.”

“If any man thinks that’, responds Sparkman, ‘they got another thing comin’.”

While Sparkman only recently decided to be in the infantry, Carpenter said she had wanted to join  for a long time, not knowing combat roles were closed to women until recently.

“It’d be cool to fight people and shoot weapons and blow up stuff,” Carpenter said.

With statistics highlighting that only 17 percent of Regular Army and 28.5 percent of Reserve recruits are female, Army officials say that infantry won’t be popular among women.

“The Army is committed to having the right person in the right job, regardless of gender,” Lt. Col Adam J. Kimmich, commander for the Army Recruiting Battalion in Dallas wrote in a statement. “This is about creating opportunities for all soldiers, and this is an example of that effort as we congratulate these two outstanding young women.”

Carpenter and Sparkman were sworn in by retired USAF Reserve Captain Gregory J. Prickett, who also spent eight years in the Army.

“It’s going to be tough, but y’all can do it,” Prickett said. “Infantry training is not for the weak-hearted.”

The pair will report to 30th Adjutant General Reception Battalion at Fort Benning on Jun 19, 2017.

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