This is on the U.S. Army Recruiting Batallion Minneapolis Facebook page:
Minnesota’s first women to enlist in recently opened combat-arms specialties…Two Minnesota women became the state’s first females to enlist in recently opened DOD combat-related occupational specialties. Kindra Pfaff and Stephanie Reese both enlisted at the U.S. Army Rochester Recruiting Center and both will train at Fort Sill, Oklahoma as field artillery fire finder operator specialists (13R), a military occupational specialty (MOS) which prior to May 2012 was only available to male Soldiers.
The Army announced, effective May 14, 2012, it would begin implementing the new Defense Department policy to start placing women in as many as 14,000 combat-related jobs, opening up six MOSs and placing women in 37 battalions across nine brigade combat teams. Women currently make up almost 16 percent of the Army and serve in 78 percent of all the Army occupations. The new DoD policy opens up an additional 3 percent of Army jobs to women, narrowing the gap of Army jobs exclusively for men. Six MOSs in 80 units that that will now be open to women include Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) crewmember (13M), MLRS operations fire detection specialist (13P), field artillery fire finder radar operator specialist (13R), M1 Abrams tank system maintainer (91A), Bradley Fighting Vehicle system maintainer (91M), and artillery mechanic (91P).
According to Staff Sgt. Richard Dusenberry, Rochester Recruiting Center’s Future Soldier trainer, Pfaff, a 2011 graduate of John Marshall High School and a liberal arts and science major attending Rochester Community Technical College, enlisted in December 2011 to train as a patriot missile system maintainer (14T), a specialty open to both men and women. “When she became ill and was unable to report for basic training in June 2012 she opted to change her MOS to a field artillery fire finder radar operator specialist (13R) on June 17,” shares Dusenberry.
Stephanie Reese, a 2011 graduate of Stewartville High School, Stewartville, Minn., also enlisted as a field artillery fire finder radar operator specialist on June 28. According to Dusenberry both Privates Pfaff and Reese will report to Fort Sill, Oklahoma for nine weeks of basic training in September 2012 followed by eight weeks of advanced individual training in December 2012. Firefinder radar operators are responsible for detecting enemy forces and alerting Army units. Using highly specialized radars, they can detect various objects and their locations. Job duties include establishing and maintaining radio and wire communication, construction of bunkers and similar areas for field artillery. They also maintain firefinder radar with scheduled checkups.
“As Future Soldiers, both Privates Pfaff and Reese will continue to hone their Soldier skills here at the Rochester Army Recruiting Center attending monthly training sessions, through the Army’s Delayed Entry Program,” adds Dusenberry. “We are excited for both Privates Pfaff and Reese as they have both excelled in basic Soldier skill training. All of us here at the Rochester Army Recruiting Center are optimistic they will continue to excel in both basic training and their specialty training.” For more information about more than 150 occupational specialties in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve visitwww.goarmy.com.