Women In Military Combat: Alessandra T. Kirby Shoots To Join The Female U.S. Army Rangers
First Lt. Alessandra T. Kirby is one of the very select women in military training that potentially has a shot at becoming one of the very first female U.S. Army Rangers, but to Kirby the real goal is to be “the best soldier I can be.”
In a related report by the Inquisitr, early in 2013 the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff overturned a 1994 rule prohibiting women in combat roles when assigned to smaller units. This decision allowed women in military positions to apply for jobs in front-line position and elite commando units such as the U.S Army Rangers.
The U.S. Department of Defense is expected to make a decision on the integration of women into the U.S. Army Rangers before January of 2016. Lt. Kirby is currently serving as an adviser for the integration program after being one of the 45 women put through a rigorous course where only 31 women passed.
“It was grilling, that’s a good word but it was extremely awesome,” says Lt. Kirby of the Utah National Guard, according to Fox 13. “During that one week, we had physical tests, obstacle courses, we had knowledge tests as well and it was dynamic, it was very dynamic.”
Lt. Kirby has been a soldier for six years and serves as Platoon leader from A Company, 489th Brigade Support Battalion in Spanish Fork. She also represented her region in a national contest in 2011 called The Best Warrior Competition.
The physical training is only one component of becoming ready to join the female U.S. Army Rangers. Kirby says the U.S. military wants them to be “emotionally ready and that’s one of the training that the military is really focused on.” She also hopes to see the U.S. military open up more roles for women in combat positions.
“It’s hard for me to see a training or a school not available because I’m a woman, so I don’t want to see in the future anybody feeling that way, that they can’t do something just because they are a man or a woman. For me, the goal is to be the best solider I can be. When somebody asks me why I want to do this, my reply is why not? Why not?”
According to the U.S. Army website, “women serve in 95 percent of all Army occupations and make up about 15.7 percent of the Active Army. Women continue to have a crucial role in current operations and their sacrifices in this noble effort underscore their dedication and willingness to share great sacrifices.”