Washington woman signs up to join combat infantry

Everett, Wash. (KCPQ/CNN) – Enlistee Loren Ross said, “I will be there, I will make America proud.”

Loren Ross is already making America and her hometown of Monroe proud by becoming the second woman in the nation to enlist in the army and commit to ground-level units in the combat infantry units.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Jason Hyde said, “When I told her that the infantry was open, her face lit up like a Christmas tree. She was extremely excited. She didn’t want to hear about any other jobs. She was convinced that she was the job she wants.”

The 17-year-old reports to basic training in June 2017, so she has one year to prepare. Loren said, “I prepare every day. I go out there and get my stuff done. Sergeant pushes me to my limits.”

Army Staff Sgt. Carl Pleimann said, “It’s giving women an opportunity to do something that was previously closed to them.”

Loren isn’t the only Washington woman on a mission. According to the News Tribune of Tacoma, a Port Orchard woman took an oath of enlistment to join an army armored brigade. And military.com reports the US Army could have as many as 44 female infantry officers by this time next year.

“It’s a big compliment and especially if I can be disciplined and be highly motivated for America, that’s what I want,” said Loren.

According to Loren, she’s making the commitment not only to be part of history, but also to carry on a tradition. Many of the men in her family served, too. She said, “They were infantry men; some were in the navy, some were in the marines, one was in the air force.”

She is strong. She is fearless. And she insists she’s ready, “I feel pumped, I’m ready and America will be proud.”

Friday, the army announced that 22 women training to become US Army officers will be allowed to serve as second lieutenants. Thirteen have been approved to become armor officers and nine are approved for the infantry.

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