BURLINGTON, Wash. - Tianna Langdon has become the first woman in Washington state to enlist as a cannon crew member, one of the military roles recently opened to women.
Langdon, a graduate of Sedro-Woolley High School, describes herself as a tomboy who had always wanted to be in combat.
“I sat down with my recruiter. He just kind of asked me what I wanted to do, and I told him. And he told me it was limited. And then he got on the phone, and then that job had literally just opened up. So it was really good timing,” Langdon said.
She said she had always wanted to serve and make a difference, but she didn’t realize she’d also be making history.
“My family’s still in shock. They don’t really want to accept it, but they’re supportive,” she said.
Langdon said some men training with her and men among her acquaintance sometimes give her quizzical looks, doubting that she could make it.
She said the news story of women in combat circulated Facebook: “I had a guy on my feed screenshot it, and he posted it. And he was just bashing on it. So I commented, and I told him like, my current situation. And he commented back, ‘good luck!’ like in a sarcastic way.”
Sgt. Kevin Taylor, who recruits at the Burlington center, said he had a woman come in as recently as three months ago wanting to join the infantry. At the time, that wasn’t possible.
Now, Taylor said he’s glad to see the change. He said cannon crew members like Langdon will “learn how to handle ammunition, fire howitzer rounds, (and) radio communications.”
He said they’re not directly front line, but calls them the “king of the battle.”
Langdon said she would tell any woman thinking of going into combat to do it, and not let anything – or anyone – stop them.
An army representative told KIRO 7 the following jobs are now open to women, but there has not yet been guidance on how to recruit for them.
OFFICER 11A INFANTRY
OFFICER 18A SPECIAL FORCES
OFFICER 19A ARMOR, GENERAL
OFFICER 19B ARMOR
OFFICER 19C CAVALRY
WARRANT OFFICER 180A SPECIAL FORCES WARRANT OFFICER
ENLISTED 11B INFANTRYMAN
ENLISTED 11C INDRECT FIRE INFANTRYMAN
ENLISTED 11Z INFANTRY SENIOR SERGEANT
ENLISTED 13F FIRE SUPPORT SPECIALIST
ENLISTED 18B SPECIAL FORCES WEAPONS SERGEANT
ENLISTED 18C SPECIAL FORCES ENGINEER SERGEANT
ENLISTED 18D SPECIAL FORCES MEDICAL SERGEANT
ENLISTED 18E SPECIAL FORCES COMMUNICATIONS SERGEANT
ENLISTED 18F SPECIAL FORCES ASSISTANT OPERATIONS AND INTELLIGENCE SERGEANT
ENLISTED 18Z SPECIAL FORCES SENIOR SERGEANT
ENLISTED 19D CAVALRY SCOUT
ENLISTED 19K M1 ARMOR CREWMAN
ENLISTED 19Z ARMOR SENIOR SERGEANT