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    Fort Carson’s first female cannon crewmember graduates BLC

    Fort Carson’s first female cannon crewmember graduates BLC

    Photo By Sgt. Anthony Bryant | Spc. Yudith Ledesma Macias, cannon crewmember, Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 12th Field...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Anthony Bryant 

    4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

    FORT CARSON, Colo. —The first female cannon crewmember graduated the Basic Leader Course from the 168th Regiment, Regional Training Institute on Fort Carson at McMahon Auditorium, March 23, 2018.
    BLC is the first step in the Noncommissioned Officer Education System that provides Soldiers with the basic tools to accomplish their duties as NCOs.
    Spc. Yudith Ledesma Macias of Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, is the third female cannon crewmember to graduate BLC from across the Army, according to the U.S. Army Human Resources Command.
    A native of the municipality of Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico, Ledesma moved to the U.S. when she was 15 years old, eventually obtaining a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice before enlisting in 2016 as a specialist in the Army.
    “My family is my inspiration,” said Ledesma. “Fight for what you believe in; fight for your dreams. Even though it’s not going to be easy, it takes dedication and sacrifice. Everything is possible so don’t let other people’s perceptions define you.”
    Ledesma applies these words to everything she does, which lead her to choose a career in combat arms.
    “There still [exists] the stigma among the males that [females] don’t belong [in combat arms],” said Ledesma. “For example, one of my peers said that all females don’t work. I corrected him. Everything that I have earned is because of my hard work.”
    Since arriving at Fort Carson in 2016, Ledesma has had to prove herself in a field dominated by men. She credits her leadership for providing her equal opportunities in regard to training and advancement, irrespective of gender.
    “I prove it with my [physical fitness],” said Ledesma. “I try to meet the same standard as the males to show them that I’m not here to do the minimum.”
    With more female cannon crewmembers arriving at her unit, Ledesma can now provide the guidance and mentorship required of an NCO as she expects to promote to sergeant May 1, 2018.
    “I’m in the business of growing leaders,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Lowell D. Churchman, BLC commandant, 168th Reg. “I hope [Ledesma] walks away as a young leader of character…knowing that it’s her burden to take care of Soldiers.”
    Churchman, a career infantryman, has served in several leadership positions within combat arms formations without female subordinates.
    “I felt like [today] was an important occasion,” said Churchman. “Auspicious, because of what [Ledesma] has accomplished.”
    According to Churchman, females joining combat arms was long overdue and he sees them prove themselves in their respective military occupation specialties, especially now as they begin to cycle through BLC.
    You’ll see more and more young women succeeding in combat arms, he said. They’ll become leaders knowing that Soldiers, their lives, Families and livelihoods all rest on their shoulders.
    Ledesma is expected to deploy as a leader with 2nd Bn., 12th FA Reg., 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div., in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, spring 2018.



    Date Taken: 03.23.2018
    Date Posted: 03.27.2018 18:48
    Story ID: 270844
    Location: FORT CARSON, CO, US 

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    Fort Carson’s first female cannon crewmember graduates BLC