All five Soldiers volunteered for duty with the FET after hearing from another unit that having females Soldiers attached to units engaging the local populace would be helpful. Afghan culture dictates that men who are not family members should not talk to or interact with women, making the FET members a valuable asset in gathering information during those engagements.
Opportunities continue to open for women in the U.S. Army. Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno has announced that BG Laura Richardson would be assigned as deputy commander, 1st Cavalry Division. She becomes the first female in such a position.
A typical day for Spc. Kathy Hysong begins with patient care during sick call hours at the Troop Medical Clinic at Contingency Operating Base Warhorse, Iraq. The remainder of her day is dedicated to preparing for any medical evacuations.
Hysong, a healthcare specialist with Company C, 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division – North, plays a versatile role as a medic assigned to the evacuation platoon.
Serving as a team leader, Quatro is the primary instructor in his squad and is an asset to the squad and company, Bode added.
“Sgt. Quatro is an outstanding soldier and a well-disciplined [non-commissioned officer],” said Bode, a native of Buffalo, N.Y. “It’s great to be able to watch how well [Iraqi policemen] respond to his training, and you can see how well they implement what he trains when they conduct their range.”
When West is not at the help desk assisting soldiers or conducting physical training at the gym, you can usually find her behind a computer webcam or writing home to her family.
“I wish I could be there with my family back in the states, but this is my mission here,” said West. “While I’m here, I just want to focus on being the best at what I do, because being a signal support specialist and maintaining [communication] operations is a vital part of the mission.”