AMES, Iowa (AP) — An Ankeny resident and Iowa State University student has become the first woman enlisted infantry soldier in the Iowa National Guard.
Pfc. Taylor Patterson returned from basic training at Fort Benning in Georgia last month and is with Company C, 168th Infantry, the Guard said. There are approximately 9,000 service members in the Iowa National Guard.
It’s been five years since the U.S. Army opened combat arms positions to women. An infantry soldier must complete a 22-week training stint, where they learn skills ranging from squad tactics to close-quarter combat training.
Patterson says she succeeded in the training with the help of her drill sergeants and support from her family.
“There obviously was a lot of guys who didn’t think the females were able to do that, but I am like, I am proving it to you,” Patterson said.
Patterson is currently studying animal science at Iowa State University in Ames.