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Army Announces First Woman in Combat Support Role

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WASHINGTON -- The Army on Monday announced the identity of the first woman recruit headed for one of the combat support roles recently opened to women.

Cicely Verstein, 21, of Morgantown, W.Va., signed up in June and will enter basic training in November to become a Bradley Fighting Vehicle systems maintainer.

When she contacted the local recruiting office, she wasn't planning on becoming a groundbreaker, she said in an Army press release.

"I've always liked working on motors and that job looked like fun," she said.

In May, the Army opened six combat support military occupational specialties to women: artillery mechanic, M1 Abrams tank systems maintainer, field artillery firefinder radar operator, multiple launch rocket system crewmember and multiple launch rocket system operations fire detection specialist.

Although combat support roles could put potentially put them in the thick of a battle, women are still barred from direct ground combat roles including infantry and armor.

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