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John D. Clark
Army ROTC
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KU to commission first female combat arms officer since lifting of ban

Wed, 05/14/2014

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Army ROTC will commission its first female Field Artillery officer this spring following Pentagon orders in 2013 to open combat-arms branches to women across all military services.

Madeline Wilcox, of Leavenworth, will commission on Monday, May 19, as a second lieutenant in the Field Artillery branch.

“Cadet Wilcox’s selection to Field Artillery was a surprise to her and us, but as the Army moves to put females into combat arms, Cadet Wilcox has great potential to do well,” said Lt. Col. Storm Reynolds, professor of military science.

Wilcox joined Army ROTC in 2010, during the spring semester of her freshman year at KU. Now a senior, she will earn a degree in political science.

“With graduation getting closer, I am very excited for the start of my Army career. Being branched in a combat arms branch, especially with being the first female to do so from KU, is something I’m proud of. But even more so, I think this shows a very good trend towards where the Army is heading in the further integration of women,” Wilcox said.

Wilcox earned high marks as a student and cadet at KU.

She will graduate as a Distinguished Military Graduate, top 20 percent of all graduating Army ROTC cadets across 273 programs in the nation. Wilcox also was part of roughly 1,000 cadets out of the 5,000 in the nation to earn an overall Excellent grade this summer at the 2013 Leadership Development and Assessment Course at Fort Lewis, Washington.                             

U.S. Army combat arms branches include Infantry, Armor, Field Artillery and Air Defense Artillery. Field Artillery and Air Defense Artillery are the only two combat branches currently open to female officers. Field Artillery officers are typically integrated into maneuver units on the ground and command fire support missions on the battlefield.

Upon graduation and commissioning Wilcox will attend Field Artillery Basic Officer’s Leadership Course, a five-month followup on training for new lieutenants, in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. 



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