MILITARY MATTERS: From pageants to the Army National Guard

Updated: Jun. 26, 2020 at 1:08 AM EDT
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FORT SILL, Okla. (WTVM) - It’s a different battleground than pageants, and now a former Miss Rhode Island is part of a group of second lieutenants finishing up the Basic Officer Leader Course at an Army installation in Oklahoma.

Earlier this month was the final training exercise for people across the country who have spent the last nearly five months on Fort Sill in Oklahoma.

“Everything they’ve learned over the last 18 weeks, they’re putting together and seeing how it all goes together in the big picture scheme of things. They are going to be the leaders of young soldiers and right now, they’re doing first-hand experience of what their soldiers are going to be doing in the field. So, for them to understand the hard work it takes to get the mission done, it’s great for them,” said Sgt.t 1st Class Marvin McBride from Fort Sill.

Among those in that training is Second Liet. Alexandra Curtis, who was Miss Rhode Island in 2015 before enlisted in the Rhode Island Army National Guard in 2017.

“My whole message as Miss Rhode Island was getting people into different fields where they’ve been under represented and getting women into leadership positions,” said Curtis. “It shows women across the world they can do anything they want to do. A lot of people said field artillery is going to be rough, especially as a female, but I said I’m up to the challenge. That’s the kind of spirit I took with me as Miss Rhode Island and that’s the kind of spirit I have with me in the Army.”

This week, Curtis takes what she’s learned back to Rhode Island. She said she hopes sharing her experience can help encourage other women to look into a military career.

“Especially with all combat roles being open to women, we want to know and show that we have females who are leading these troops. We welcome them into our ranks and definitely do the job. Of course, we don’t want to be missing out on half the talent of our entire population, so we welcome women into these roles. And I’m very excited to be the first woman going into field artillery in Rhode Island,” Curtis added.

Curtis works full time as a public affairs specialist with the Rhode Island Army National Guard.

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