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Alaska National Guard welcomes first infantrywoman in its ranks

Sgt. Serita Unin holds a weapon on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, on March 16, 2021. Unin made Alaska National Guard history by becoming the first infantry-qualified woman in the organization after she reclassified into the infantry military occupational specialty last month.

EDWARD EAGERTON/U.S. ARMY

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: April 1, 2021

BETHEL, Alaska — An Alaska woman has made history by becoming the first infantrywoman in the Alaska National Guard.

Serita Unin, a Cup'ik woman, joined the National Guard in 2009 as a generator mechanic and said combat jobs were not available for women at the time, KYUK-AM reported Tuesday.

Unin said in a statement that her leaders later thought she would be a good fit for the infantry and that she warmed to the idea.

Unin in January attended a three-week "infantry reclassification course” in Arkansas and graduated in February, the Alaska National Guard said in a statement.

She became the first female infantry soldier in the state National Guard and is now a fireteam leader with Bison Company, 1st Battalion, 297th Infantry Regiment in the Alaska Army National Guard, KYUK-AM reported.