Featured Image: Military.com
At 19 years old, Grand Strand native, Veronica Lasch has made history as the first woman to be sworn into the South Carolina Infantry. At 5’2”, she is just above the height requirement and is beating the odds in more ways than one.
“I do know what I’m getting myself in to, it’s going to be tough, there are going to be a lot of challenges that I will face,” Lasch told WMBF News.
In Dec. 2015, then Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced all positions that were previously only open to men would now be open to women as well without exception, including combative positions. Since then, there has been a boom in women enlisting and the demographics of the military is quickly changing.
“Before 2016, there were several jobs that females just couldn’t do and they were combating arms jobs, infantry, tanker, things like that but since 2016, since they’ve listed that, females are open to all of those jobs. It’s been a process the last three years or so for that to trickle down to everywhere,” recruiter Sgt. Derek Calhoun said to WMBF News.
The fastest-growing demographic to enlist in the military are females, ages 17-21. The South Carolina National Guard is currently 20% females, but that number is constantly increasing and Lasch’s milestone accomplishment just shows how far females in the military have come. As basic training begins in January, her recruiter will continue to ensure she is properly prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.