First woman heads for combat support role

WASHINGTON — The Army recently announced the identity of the first woman recruit headed for one of the combat support roles recently opened to women.

Cicely Verstein, 21, of Morgantown, W.Va., signed up in June and will enter basic training in November to become a Bradley Fighting Vehicle systems maintainer, Stars and Stripes reported.

In an Army press release, Verstein stated that when she contacted the local recruiting office, she wasn’t planning on becoming a groundbreaker. “I’ve always liked working on motors and that job looked like fun,” she said in the release.

In May, the Army opened six combat support military occupational specialties to women: artillery mechanic, M1 Abrams tank systems maintainer, field artillery firefinder radar operator, multiple launch rocket system crewmember and multiple launch rocket system operations fire detection specialist.

Although combat support roles could potentially put them in the middle of a battle, women are still barred from direct ground combat roles including infantry and armor.

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