From current female soldiers to potential ones, teenage students in the Quad Cities are now hoping to join their ranks.
Rock Island School Senior Haley Pitford can’t wait to graduate, “I’m very excited, very nervous and still have to go to MEMPS and everything. I don’t know I’m so excited to have my life start."
She leaves for the Air Force in July and has taken Junior ROTC elective courses since she was a freshman, something she didn’t plan but fell in love with.
"We learned about Aerospace science and we learn about the airplanes and how they work. We also learn about leadership skills,” says Haley.
Since the announcement made that women will now be able to do more things in the military, it’s expanded her opportunities.
"It needed to happen a long time ago. It's definitely a great change, from only being men in the military, now it's men and women serving next to each other,” says Haley.
She also thinks women will get the recognition they deserve, “It’s a very great way for people to get, women actually, to get recognized because usually they're not, and they’re just on the sidelines."
Not only will females’ soldiers be able to fight in ground combat, but there will also be more jobs and skills opportunities. There will be 237,000 new positions open to them that weren’t available before.
Which is great for Rock Island High School Senior Rosetta Levin. She wants to join the air force but hasn’t decided what field to go into.
"I think it's great because I really haven't chosen a job yet now so I have even more choices,” says Rosetta.
Changes will take some time for women to train and qualify for combat roles. Changes are to be made in 2015.