By Brian C. Erickson
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii — A female Soldier from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, became the first female to complete the Jungle Operations Training Course as an infantryman when she graduated from the course, Monday.
"I wanted to prove to the men that I can do what they can do," said Spc. Tinita Taylor, a signal support systems specialist, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd BCT.
Completing the course was not an easy task for her. According to Taylor, the mental tasks were the hardest to overcome.
"I had to keep reminding myself 'mind over matter'; my head and body had to work together to finish this," said Taylor.
"My body held up, but telling myself I can do it is what I needed to do," she continued.
The Caruthersville, Mo., native said she got her drive from wanting to be one of her childhood role models.
"By completing this course, I feel I am halfway to being that warrior princess I want to be," said Taylor.
Enduring the course opened Taylor's eyes to what infantrymen do, and she found a new respect for them.
In the Army for just three years, this accomplishment really makes those around her see what she is able to accomplish in such a short time, none other than her first line supervisor.
"She is an outstanding go-getter, rising to the occasion every time she is needed to step up," said Sgt. Wayne Murray, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd BCT.
Graduating from jungle school is just the beginning of what Taylor has in mind to add to her list of accomplishments. Next up is Air Assault, which she plans on attending later this year, and then it is on to Pre-Ranger and Ranger School.
"My goal is to be the first female Soldier to complete Ranger School," said Taylor.