First female Indiana National Guard soldiers finish infantry course

The Indiana National Guard is reporting that the first women have completed the infantry school at the 138th Regional Training Institute at Camp Atterbury.

Sgt. Amber Strawn of South Bend and Sgt. Jillian Sandefur of Highland received their infantry cards at a ceremony last weekend on the base.

They will be among the first Indiana National Guard female soldiers to enter into combat roles. For women who want to follow in their footsteps, both soldiers suggested preparing by running a lot, lifting weights and rucking up hills to condition your feet.

Staff Sgt. Anthony Smerk, an instructor for the infantry course, said “If you are meeting or exceeding the standard, then I don’t care your race, gender, religion matters none to me.”

Indiana National Guard Sgt. Amber Strawn receives her blue infantry cord at a ceremony at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, Saturday. Photo courtesy of Indiana National Guard.