JBLM soldier becomes first female scout

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD — Sgt. Kayci Landes’ friends and family may worry about her, but she says they are not surprised.

“Everyone who has known me my entire life expects nothing less than crazy ideas,” said Landes.

Wednesday the Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier became the first female to enlist as a cavalry scout.

When she signed up for the Army five years ago women could not become scouts, who typically go into hot zones on reconnaissance missions before the infantry arrives.

She served a tour in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter mechanic.

She knows future deployments could be more dangerous. Landes said she is not scared.

She does expect to get a hard time from male counterparts but said they need to get used to women in combat roles.

“We have to deal with whatever the big army throws at us,” said Landes, “I’m something the big army is throwing at them.

When training begins in Georgia in the fall, she will have to leave behind her husband and four children, the youngest is an 11-week-old infant.

Landes said the family is used to military assignments causing disruptions.

Her husband, Staff Sgt. Brendan Stahl-Dugger, is also in the Army.

She said he supports her move, although he does have concerns.

“He’s not worried about whether or not I can do it,” said Landes, “He’s just not sure I’ll like it.”

Copyright 2016 KING

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