Story by U.S. Army Sgt. Darrell Stembridge
Fort Hood, TX- From the Revolutionary War to current operations around the globe, women have played an unprecedented role in the defense of our nation. During the month of March, we celebrate the many contributions; as well as the courage and sacrifice of women who served across the U.S. Army as leaders on the battlefield and at home station.
The First Team is committed to fostering an inclusive climate, which includes ensuring female Troopers receive equal opportunities to serve in all military occupational specialties and hold positions at all levels of leadership.
Within the 1st Cavalry Division today, women make up over 15 percent of the formation and support the mission by serving in a range of roles including logisticians, mechanics, military intelligence analysts, fire support specialists, aviators and tankers.
Earlier this year, Sgt. Cinthia Ramirez, a female tanker assigned to Avenger Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, made history for being the first female active-duty Soldier to graduate from the U.S. Army Master Gunner Course for the M1A2 Abrams tank.
“I didn’t pass the first time and I got down on myself,” Ramirez said. “I didn’t want to go back. Thankfully, I had some amazing people on my side that believed in me and reminded me of my potential. Mistakes shouldn’t stop you from wanting to be a better person. So, just because we as females might fail the first time we try, it doesn’t mean we stop. We have to keep going and pushing.”
Last spring, women serving with the First Team also broke down barriers when 1st Lt. Janel Tracy, tank commander, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat led an M1A2 Abrams tank crew during the Sullivan Cup 2022 competition. Tracy’s crew spent around a month preparing for the competition understanding the challenges they would face while competing against other top-tier armor vehicle crews.
“It was a challenging experience, but we worked as a team and that’s when we did our best,” Tracy said following the event. “We had fun and the competition made us a closer crew.”
Female leaders across the division have also stepped up to create the “Sisters in Arms” a mentorship program designed to support women in the Army with mentorship, career progression, camaraderie, and the development of support networks.
“We are trying to help empower the female population to help them speak out, so they don’t feel like they are in the shadow of males, so that they know we are equal,” 1st Sgt. Wendy Talton, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division said.
Women have served on the “frontlines” with the 1st Cavalry Division for decades and will continue to play a vital role in worldwide missions contributing to the strength and capability of the First Team.