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First Utah woman to enlist in U.S. infantry

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Posted at 10:46 PM, May 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-03 09:41:40-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A revolution in the U.S. military has opened doors for women across the country.

For Tara McCaig, military service is a family tradition.

"My grandpas were both in the army, my dad and brother were navy," McCaig said.

Now, McCaig is making history.

The 25-year-old woman is one of the first 10 women to enlist in the United States infantry and the very first from Utah.

"She wants infantry, she wants to be on that line,” said Jeff Ross, public affairs officer for Salt Lake City Army Recruit and Battalion. “She wants to be on the forefront and she`s a go-getter there`s no doubt."

The opportunity was made possible this past December, when the pentagon overturned a ban on women serving in combat positions.

"Overall we’ve had very overwhelming positive comments about it for the first few that’s enlisted," Ross said.

Women have to meet the same physical, moral and mental qualifications as men.

"If we qualify for it and have the mindset that we can do it then we can definitely hold our own in there," McCaig said.

McCaig enlisted this past Friday, but doesn't ship out until Jan. 30, 2017.

"I’ve been told that I’m gonna jump out of planes, people have said I’m going to blow stuff up, been told a couple different things," McCaig said.

McCaig will start training on Feb. 10 at Fort Benning.

"I don’t feel like I have to prove something but just show them that women can do it as well," McCaig said.