Aided by a Female Squad Leader, US Soldiers Demonstrate Peacekeeping with Women in Mind
June 27, 2019: Four Arizona National Guardsmen went house to house in a mock village set up on a grassy plain in rural Kazakhstan, searching for an enemy weapons cache.
At many of the houses, women acting out the scenario during the Steppe Eagle exercise told the American soldiers that their culture did not allow them to enter unless a female servicemember was present.
That’s where this particular squad of guardsmen stood out: Led by the first female infantry squad leader in the Arizona National Guard, Staff Sgt. Jenna Ross, the squad entered and searched the houses for the hidden weapons.
Not long after starting the searches in the village, Spc. Efren Armenta told Ross, “Jackpot.” He’d found the stash.
The scenario was part of training on how gender can impact peacekeeping and stability operations.
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