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US army getting closer to equality, say women cadets

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Summary of story from Daily Trojan, October 31, 2011

Differences between men and women in the US army have become less prevalent, according to female cadets.

Hannah Stryker is a cadet in the USC Trojan Battalion Army Reserve Office Training Corp.

She says the four woman in the group of 30 cadets are not treated any differently: “We are one army; we aren’t separate.”

Stryker was taught by a woman drill sergeant who “expected us to excel and to be as good or better than any of our male counterparts”.

While some of the fitness aspects are different for women, such as push-up standards, the majority of the obstacles and tests are exactly the same.

Stryker says women just have to adapt their approach to obstacles to take into account physical differences. She learned from “seeing other women get up there and be able to do it.”

Other female cadets said that despite the physical differences, army life is relatively the same for both genders. As Julianna La Luzerne said:

“What matters most is leadership and being a woman is nothing to do with that.”

Woman have only been officers in the US army since the 1940s, and the military are still in the process of accommodating their increased presence, but cadet Rosanne Truong was hopeful that gender differences will one day no longer matter.

She said: ”Hopefully we can get over our differences; as long as there is mutual respect, we will be fine.”

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