Boom! Nevada National Guard has its first female tanker

Julia LeDoux
February 25, 2020 - 10:50 am

Sgt. Walter H. Lowell/Nevada Natioal Guard Pubic Affais

The Nevada National Guard has its first female tanker.

Second Lt. Katarina Schumacher recently became the first woman to successfully finish the required training to operate a tank and lead her own platoon, according to KRNV.

“I know a lot of people didn’t get their hopes up when I first started because there have been females before who have tried and failed,” she told the television station.

Schumacher now leads a platoon of 16 soldiers and 4 tanks.

“A lot of guys were incredibly concerned that things were going to change for the worse,’ she said. “Soldiers would kind of just stare at me and runoff like no one wanted to talk.”

Schumacher, who joined the guard in 2015, said with the help of other female National Guard leaders and her own persistence, she earned the respect of her male peers and lessened the concerns around her.

“You get past the fact that there’s a female really quick when you’re relying so heavily {on each other],” she said. “I slowly saw my soldiers following me more and more and realizing that even though I was a female, it didn’t matter. I was their sister.”

Schumacher believes her accomplishment will give new combat opportunities to hundreds of military women.

“It’s like the domino effect,” she said. “Once you get the domino in motion, everything else is going to fall as well. I think we’ll definitely start to see a lot more females in cavalry in the next few years.”  

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