Female Soldier Takes On Combat Role On Fort Hood - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Female Soldier Takes On Combat Role On Fort Hood

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(KCEN) --   A Fort Hood soldier is one of only two women ever to take on one of many combat roles recently opened to women.

During qualifications on the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, Maj. Chrissy Cook’s crew even beat every other all-male crews in their unit.

They earned “Top Gun” in all the 3rd Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division during Table VI Gunnery on June 6.

Still, the idea of women in these types of jobs is getting mixed reviews.

It's been a year since the Pentagon first announced the integration process.

Cook says her comrades have been supportive with a healthy sense of competition.

“In the beginning, there were bets on if I could disassemble and assemble the weapon as fast as I needed to,” Cook says.

That two-part weapon weights a total 110 lbs, but didn’t give Cook any trouble.

It’s only one of many rigorous requirements for her job, and male or female, the Army's standards are the same.

“And I just want to be the same as everyone else, and do my job,” says Cook.

As the officer in charge of the operations section in her battalion, Cook is the Bradley Commander for her crew of four.

Private 1st Class Paul Kurashewich recalls the first time her gender came up and says, “When we were driving, she just asked, she was like, I never thought of asking you if you thought of it any differently, me being a female, and I said no ma'am.”

Female soldiers train side-by-side with male soldiers on everything from ruck marches to land navigation.

“And they always kept up. In fact, some were even better than some of the guys,” says 2nd Lieutenant Arnulfo Ahumada, who is also on Cook’s crew.

In a KCEN HD Facebook poll, 57 percent say they disagree with the Pentagon’s decision to allow women to take on certain combat roles.

39 percent say they agree, and the rest say they’re not sure.

Some may not realize that women already serve in combat.

If they're outside the wire and come under fire, they fire back.

“I have been in situations with Afghans, in particular, who are not used to working with females,” says Cook.

She says, “If you think you have what it takes, go and try it.  Meet the standard, and no one is going to say anything to you.”

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