Digital Original: Local G.I. Jane is first female officer to take command of infantry in the state

Digital Originals

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A United States soldier is showing that dreaming big does pay off if you’re patient.

Capt. Megan Thomas is the first female officer to take command as an Infantry officer for the Arkansas National Guard.

Almost as real as G.I. Jane, she is not taking her duties lightly. She says she hopes to be an inspiration for other women to become leaders in the service.

“Everybody has their own individual qualities we all have different strengths and weaknesses and as a leader, you have to be able to identify those strengths or weakness no matter the gender of the soldier,” says Capt. Thomas.

The Department of Defense lift all gender-based restrictions on military service back in January 2016. This allowed all women like Capt. Thomas to serve in a role once considered off-limits.

“The company that I am in our climate is pretty amazing,” she says. “I just do what I have to do and they do it as well and we meet each other halfway.”

Earlier this year, Cpt. Thomas graduated from Maneuver Captain’s Career Course which gave her the ability to assume her new role. This also made her the first female in the state of Arkansas to hold the position.

“I’m part of the HHC, 39th Infantry Brigade Combat team,” she explains. “I’ve always wanted to better myself but didn’t expect it to come in this capacity.”

For now, she says she will focus on ensuring the transition for other women into the infantry field to be both smooth and successful.

“Make sure this isn’t just a one-time occurrence and build that continuity piece and making sure that there is after Cpt. Thomas leaves that there is someone to take my place,” she says.

On Saturday, September 21, the Arkansas National Guard will be hosting the first-ever “Your Best Day” event.

Admission is free and goes from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Camp Robinson.

Visitors will have the chance to experience military equipment and enjoy food and entertainment.

For more information, click here.

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