US Army seeing steady increase in female applications since ban was lifted last year

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Ever since the United States Army lifted a century-old policy banning woman from infantry positions last year, it has been actively recruiting more and more women.

"It's not the same Army," said Sgt. First Class Danielle Bowman, a recruiter for the Army. "The Army wants well-rounded soldiers."

Bowman is on the front lines of the effort. Based out of the Taylorsville Road Center, she's one of only a handful of female recruiters in Louisville.

"Like all things, we evolve, and the Army has opened those positions in combat arms to females," Bowman said. "So right now, there's nothing holding anyone back."

The daughter of a Marine, Bowman joined the Army her senior year in high school, two years after 9/11, and has seen a steady increase in the number of women walking through her doors: from roughly 18 percent two years ago to 25 percent now.

"The Army has done a great job integrating all these programs together," Bowman said. "The way that everyone's come to together to make sure this process of integrating females into these combat arms situations."

But Bowman says that doesn't mean the Army's standards have changed. In fact they're, even more rigorous.

"They still have to meet all the same qualifications, but they have the same opportunity to do it," she said. "They're going to push you and push your limits.

"It's up to the female to make sure that they pass the courses to achieve that MOS or that individual job. As long as they have heart and they have the drive to do it, then the opportunity is there."

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