For Army Infantry’s 1st Women, Heavy Packs and the Weight of History

Dave Philipps – The New York Times:

In the woods, after hours of mock raids, Pvt. Kayla Padgett rested her rifle against her rucksack and turned to her platoon, assembling them in three neat rows.

It was 90 degrees. A tick crawled along the back of her shirt. The night before, the platoon had slept in the dirt. Everyone was dog tired. Many were covered in ant bites. But as platoon guide, it was her job to make them ready.

“All right, hustle it up, let’s count off,” she said.

One by one the platoon of mostly men each shouted until all were accounted for.

“O.K., good,” Private Padgett said, scanning the group with her blue eyes. “If you haven’t done so, keep loading up ammo, all your magazines.”

“She’s a hoss,” her drill sergeant, Joseph Sapp, said as he watched her. After a tour in Iraq and four in Afghanistan, he has served with his share of soldiers. “Forget male-female; she’s one of the best in the company. She’s one you’re happy to have.”

Great article, worth your time.

Next we need to incorporate women into registration for the draft.

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