Tri-State Woman Hits Major Milestone

An Evansville woman serving in the Indiana National Guard is setting a new precedent among troops as the first female soldier to serve as a radar operator in the field.

Sergeant Erin Davis decided she wanted to join the National Guard when she was in high school. Once a month, she heads to drill. Now, never before in her division, she's breaking a barrier.

They say pictures are worth a thousand words. For Erin Davis, these are some of the best times of her life.

"It's almost like a fraternity or sorority not in terms of wildness per se, but it's like a family," she said.

This is her 11th year in the Indiana Army National Guard and her hard work has paid off.

"When the general came down last weekend and presented me with my coin, I was at a loss for words when he asked me what it meant to me," Davis said.

Her other job consists of working as a group leader for Toyota. Last week she was given a new role in the National Guard as a radar operator in the field. She's the first female in her division to hold the role. 

"We track incoming and outgoing artillery fire which could be mortar, rockets, and artillery shells and we are able to identify where they came from and also predict precisely track where the impact was in friendly or enemy fire," she said. 

Sergeant Davis is the first to be positioned in a combat role since the recent restrictions were lifted. In December, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter opened all combat roles to women, overturning a 1994 pentagon rule that restricted women from artillery, armor and other combat-related roles.

"I think it's excellent growth for the Army as a whole," Davis said. "We need women on the front line."

While she's not sure where her future with the Army will take her, she hopes her time has influenced others. 

"Being a female, I do get kind of a sense of reward from being in a leadership role, not necessary being in control, but leading my section," she said.

She says her love for serving this country will always be her true passion.

While Davis will most likely not see time overseas, her accomplishment still puts her among the country's elite.


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