Women Excel in New Jobs

Second Lt. Stacey Sadowski, 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, inspects Soldiers' chemical protective gear before a chemical, biological and radiation training lane, at Fort Carson, Colo.

Second Lt. Stacey Sadowski, 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, inspects soldiers’ chemical protective gear before a chemical, biological and radiation training lane, at Fort Carson, Colo.

First Lt. Carolyn Majchszak and 2nd Lt. Stacey Sadowski are playing a significant role in Army history, although neither one of them sees it that way. For these women, and 37 others of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, they are just soldiers doing their job.

“I haven’t seen a difference,” said Sadowski, 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment. “Everyone has been accepting.”

Fresh from officer candidate school, the field artillery battalion is Sadowski’s first unit.

“I wasn’t worried about being placed in field artillery,” she said. “It’s the Army, so I’m used to being outnumbered.”

In her unit, Sadowski is one of two females working alongside 150 male soldiers.

“Nobody treated me differently,” said Majchszak, 3rd Bn., 16th FA Reg. “They still treat you like a soldier. You’re still expected to perform your job.”

For the past few months, Sadowski and Majchszak have been working in positions typically filled by male soldiers as part of a six-month Army assessment to determine whether those positions should be open to female soldiers permanently.

In February, the Army announced that six military occupational specialties, or MOSs, would be open to women in nine brigade combat teams at six installations. At Fort Carson, 39 female soldiers in 2nd BCT are filling those roles in field artillery, cavalry, armor and infantry regiments.

“The program is a success,” said Sgt. 1st Class Craig Butterman, personnel noncommissioned officer in charge, 2nd BCT.

Butterman said the brigade commanders will continue to place women in combat arms positions as long as they meet MOS requirements.

“This is the Army changing and evolving,” Majchszak said.

While the Army initiative may be viewed as groundbreaking for service women, many soldiers see it as a natural progression.

“I don’t really see a difference between serving in a line unit and (non-line units),” said Sgt. 1st Class Noemi Conley, 2nd Bn., 8th Infantry Reg., 2nd BCT.

“To be quite honest, it’s nothing new,” said Maj. Wade Herman, executive officer, 3rd Bn., 16th FA Reg. “Men and women have been serving side-by-side for years. (The assessment) is just formalizing that in garrison.”

He said the women serving in his battalion have performed well and their male counterparts have accepted them.

“I have no idea why it took so long to make this official,” he said. “We’ve been doing this. This is the way we have been for years.”

Master Sgt. Hammie Session, 3rd Bn., 16th FA Reg., agreed.

“A soldier is a soldier,” he said. “Everyone joins to serve their country.”

Session said that since he joined the Army in the 1980s, he’s served alongside women. Session added that he would not be surprised if more jobs — including combat roles — were opened to women.

“It wouldn’t surprise me,” he said. “I would not oppose it. Whether it’s male or female, they all have equal qualifications for a job — right person, right job. It’s liberating because you know what the standard is. Everyone is expected to soldier up.”

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