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    First female Alaska Army National Guard Soldier completes army maneuver course

    First female Alaska Army National Guard Soldier completes army maneuver course

    Photo By 1st Lt. Marisa Lindsay | Capt. Amanda Plachek, commander of the 134th Public Affairs Detachment and coordinator...... read more read more



    Story by 2nd Lt. Marisa Lindsay 

    Alaska National Guard Public Affairs   

    JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska —When Capt. Amanda Plachek isn’t commanding the 134th Public Affairs Detachment or running the State Partnership Program for the Alaska National Guard, she’s paving the way for her fellow Soldiers by becoming the first Alaska Army National Guard female to complete a combat arms branch training course.

    Plachek graduated from the physically and mentally-challenging Maneuver Captains Career Course on Fort Benning earlier this year. The course, along with other combat arms training programs, was not open to females until December 3, 2015.

    Plachek decided to pursue the maneuver course after a few females on her Armed Forces Rugby team had successfully completed the course alongside the first two female ranger school graduates. She ended up being the only female in her class.

    “I decided to attend the maneuver course to broaden my military education,” explained Plachek, who joined the Army originally as a transportation officer. “It was definitely a steep learning curve for someone like me who didn’t have an infantry, armor or field artillery background. Machine gun theories and creating battalion-level fire plans were all brand new to me and it made me appreciate everything that goes into planning and executing a combat mission from the ground up.”

    Not only did Plachek apply herself to successfully complete the course, but out of 25 Soldiers, she was the third top graduate, based on coursework and peer rankings.

    Aside from tactical and strategic combat operations planning, the 4-week course also comprised of a timed 5-mile run, two physical fitness tests, and regular visits to the Peden Field obstacle course.

    “I didn’t really know what to expect from the maneuver course, but I knew the one thing I could control was to show up physically prepared,” explained Plachek. “At one point during the course, the commandant, a highly-intimidating infantry colonel, was watching me do one of the rope obstacles and all I could think was about how glad I was that I had been doing CrossFit to prepare for this course.”

    Plachek also credits her leadership for giving her the courage and confidence to go after this education.

    “Someone once told me that the only way women are going to succeed in integrating into the infantry is if they have the support of their leadership and male counterparts,” Plachek said. “I had an immense amount of support from not only my chain of command, fellow officers, classmates and instructors. That made me more proud that anything, the fact that my decision was supported and accepted by so many.”



    Date Taken: 05.25.2017
    Date Posted: 05.25.2017 21:04
    Story ID: 235383
    Location: AK, US

    Web Views: 2,917
    Downloads: 0