2 Pacific Northwest women among first to enlist in Army combat s - KPTV - FOX 12

2 Pacific Northwest women among first to enlist in Army combat specialty positions

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(Facebook /  U.S. Army Seattle Recruiting Battalion) (Facebook / U.S. Army Seattle Recruiting Battalion)
(Facebook /  U.S. Army Seattle Recruiting Battalion) (Facebook / U.S. Army Seattle Recruiting Battalion)
Army Maj. Gen. Jeff Snow Army Maj. Gen. Jeff Snow
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Two women from the Pacific Northwest are making history by being among the first to enlist into combat specialty positions in the U.S. Army. 

They are part of the "wave of change" happening in that branch of the military. The changes officially started years ago, but it was only recently – on April 1 – when infantry and armor positions opened up to women wanting to join the Army. 

The Army's top recruiter, Maj. Gen. Jeff Snow, was in Portland on Wednesday. He told Fox 12 the changes have been sort of an evolution, and it is about getting the best people to fill the ranks. 

Snow said that last year, 17 percent of the Army recruits were women, while women make up about half of the American population. He hopes that with having more positions open for women, it will ultimately enhance the readiness of the Army.  

"We think this is a good thing because now it may cause women that traditionally looked at the Army and said, ‘I don't want to do that because I can't do that’ – now they can do any job open to men in the Army, provided they can meet the standards," Snow said. 

So far, five women have enlisted into the newly-opened combat specialty positions.

The Seattle recruiting office's Facebook page shows how two of those women did so.

One of those women is now the first woman in the country to be enlisted with the combat tankers.

The three specialty areas of the Army that just opened up on April 1 go along with nine more that were opened up to women in late 2012. The nation's top recruiter says Special Forces positions are not open yet, but he is hoping they will soon. 

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