Field artillery has traditionally been a male-dominated discipline in the military. However, one female officer is blazing a trail for other women to follow.
Army 2nd Lt. Taylor Cardosi recently became the first women to serve as a fire direction officer in a M777A1 howitzer cannon unit, according to the Department of Defense. She is currently a member of the 1st Battalion, 37th Artillery Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Fort Lewis, Wash.
Cardosi entered active-duty service Dec. 27, 2012, around the same time that the Defense Department opened up a large number of new positions for women, including field artillery.
"I like to think that I want this as a career," Cardosi said. "I'm patient enough to wait and, when that time arrives, prove that I should have been there all along. For now, that's the plan — make it a career and become a battalion commander, a brigade commander, a general."
According to data compiled by the departments of Defense and Veteran Affairs, more than 214,000 women currently serve in the military. The Army has nearly 77,000 female soldiers on active-duty status, which comprises 13 percent of the branch. Overall, more than 1.8 female military veterans reside in the U.S.