Female MPs 'driven' to protect
August 3, 2009
BAGHDAD - Spc. Yessenia Morales, of High Point, N.C., and Spc. Felicia Sloan, of Lumberton, N.C., are two military police Soldiers that serve as mine resistant ambush protected vehicle drivers in security details for the command group of the 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team.
Morales, one of two females on her protection team, looks after Col. Greg Lusk, the North Carolina Army National Guard brigade's commander, while Sloan, one of three females on hers, protects the brigade's Command Sgt. Maj. John Swart.
"We drive him and protect him," Morales said of Lusk. "We are his security."
Sloan said that at the beginning of the deployment in late April, the males treated them a little differently, but now the "girls" are just part of the family.
"We've held our own," Sloan said. "We do everything they do."
Morales said that as most of the Soldiers on her team are infantrymen; infantry is a male-only career field; working with a woman was new to most of them.
"My guys on my team weren't really used to working with females," Morales said. "There's not really even a lot of MP guys on my team, so they didn't know what it was gonna be like to work with females. But now, they don't mind, I'm like, the little sister on the team."
"We've all come to accept each other," Sloan said.
The girls said even though the different members on the team each have their own roles, they are all still expected to know how to do each other's jobs.
"We've been trained the same," Sloan said. "We can fire the weapons the gunners use. We've had the same training and if it came down to it, we can all do the same thing. And the guys know that."
The two said the like their jobs, with its busy pace that helps the deployment pass quickly.
"I like that we get to see so many different places," Sloan said about the operating area south of Baghdad.
"When you're constantly doing something, you find the days fly by," Morales said. "If I have a day off, I find myself trying to find things to do."