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    The first, but not the last

    The first, but not the last

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Tegan Kucera | Sgt. Harley Davidson made Michigan National Guard history when she became the first...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Tegan Kucera 

    Michigan National Guard

    GRAYLING, Mich. – Driving around with her crew would normally be the highlight of Sgt. Harley Davidson’s annual training, but this year she became the first female launcher chief in the history of the Michigan National Guard.
    Davidson was one of the first females in the state to take advantage of the change in Army policy allowing females in combat arms, and now she is the first to become a launcher chief of a high mobility artillery rocket system with the 182nd Field Artillery Regiment.
    “It was something I wanted to do to push myself and let others know that we can do this,” said Davidson. “Now, knowing that I’ve made the strides that I have by becoming the first female launcher chief is super exciting. It makes me feel that I’ve made a difference for the females in letting them see that this could be you, too.”
    Davidson didn’t come into the National Guard thinking she could be a role model for current and future female Soldiers, but now that she is, she is humbled by the experience. She enlisted when she was in college studying communication. She could have gone into a similar military skill, but wanted to do something completely different. After seeing a video of HIMARS in action, and thinking about what a difference they could make, she knew her path.
    “I wanted to do something for more than just me,” said Davidson. “I was really nervous coming in, because I worried I wouldn’t be taken seriously or respected because I’m a female, but our unit has completely proved those things wrong for me.”
    Normally the position of a launcher chief is for a higher rank, but because her crew’s chief was not able to attend the annual training, her command decided to test her out to see if she was ready.
    “This was a goal for me, eventually, but I didn’t think it would happen now. It was something that I had worked toward,” said Davidson. “Knowing that they had confidence in me doing this position, I thought you know, if they have that confidence there has got to be a reason for it.”
    Davidson did not leave for her annual training expecting anything like what happened, but did not balk at the chance. She was very nervous when she started the evaluation, but as she went through it, she became more comfortable and knew what had to be done, and now she has her own HIMARS truck and crew.
    “Knowing that now I get to give the commands, and that it’s my truck,” said Davidson. “I’m in charge of where those rockets go. It’s a lot of responsibility, but it makes me proud and excited to do it.”
    Davidson knows the responsibility that has been placed on her shoulders. She knows the HIMARS can shoot rockets up to 300 kilometers, and it can be a fierce weapon, but it is her weapon of choice and she loves the career she chose when she first enlisted. Now she has her own place in the Michigan Army National Guard’s history.
    “It’s really exciting knowing that I’m the first one, so I get to open the door for females to continue on this path.”
    Even though this was part of Davidson’s projected career path, she started on it sooner than she initially thought possible. She also didn’t think that she could be someone to look up to in the future, but she fell into it quite comfortably, like she was born to do it. (Story by Michigan Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Tegan Kucera)



    Date Taken: 06.24.2020
    Date Posted: 06.25.2020 15:03
    Story ID: 372840
    Location: GRAYLING, MI, US 

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