Image Copyright: Gerry Broome / AP
By Lolita C. Baldor
Copyright: The Associated Press
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Under a canopy of trees on the edge of a large field, soldiers from Bravo Battery are lying in a circle as they pore over targeting charts. Nearby, others are preparing the howitzer cannons as helicopters swoop overhead. At the edge of the circle, the platoon leader watches as the field artillerymen go through their training exercise.
No one seems to notice the small knot of hair at the base of the lieutenant’s helmet, or that 1st Lt. Kelly Requa is the only woman on the field at Campbell’s Crossroads on the sprawling grounds of Fort Bragg.
By January 2016, the U.S. military must open all combat jobs to women or explain why any must remain closed. The Army in November officially began assigning female officers to lead the cannon platoons and plans to open other jobs, including those of crew members within the field artillery units.