(FORT HOOD, Texas, October 8, 2021)--By Sgt. Melissa N. Lessard, III Corps Public Affairs
As a child growing up in the north Texas town of Plainview, a town in the Texas High Plains below Amarillo, Cinthia Ramirez said she enjoyed the small-town nature of the town and the family feel it brought on. But her trips to see family in Mexico during holidays were what she truly treasured.
"I remember making Menudo,” now Army Specialist Ramirez said. “It is a tradition I will definitely keep when I am older and have children, I just have to learn how to make it like my grandmother did.”
After some years of visiting Mexico, her grandparents moved to Texas. The family feel of home became complete with everyone living around each other.
“All of our families lived in the same town or next to it,” said Ramirez, an armor crewman and gunner in 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. “I loved how small it was, and how close everyone was. We would have close family gatherings all the time”
The Army is a diverse force with Soldiers who have many skills and abilities that maximize their potential. The same can be said about Ramirez.
In 2016 the Army allowed females to join the combat ranks, which is exactly what Ramirez did. She is a Hispanic American female in the Army, in a combat military occupation specialty.
“When I first came in, we were actually the first cycle of females to enter our company,” Ramirez said. “In the beginning it was rough. It took some adjusting and leadership has changed. For me, I got really lucky to be in a company, a battalion, to have leadership that respected me, cared for me, and wanted to see me grow.”
Ramirez has spent the last few years growing in her leadership roles at her unit.
“She is able to react, teach, mentor and train,” said Sgt. 1st Class Richard Martinez, her platoon sergeant in 3rd ABCT. “She has led with little guidance. It puts her in a good position because she is learning and taking initiative on her own.”
In addition to day-to-day leadership roles within her squad and platoon, Ramirez is also the Soldier who controls their weapon on the battlefield, Martinez said.
“Once we identify the target, we go through a fire command,” Ramirez said. “Friendly or foe, bore sighting, they have to be precise numbers.”
In addition to supporting her combat MOS, Ramirez recently assisted III Corps during a competition.
The XVIII Airborne Corps recently held a video competition to see who would be entered into the Dragon Cannes competition. III Corps entered into the race, and thousands voted for the short movie showcasing many experiences Soldiers' may face in the Army.
“We were not aware how big it would be,” she said “It’s such a blessing to get to experience things outside my MOS that most people don’t get to experience.”
Not only is Ramirez representing what females can do in combat MOSs, and representing III Corps, but she is also representing her community, her Hispanic community.
“It feels really good to represent where I come from,” she said.
She also offered words of wisdom.
“Make sure you don’t get beaten down because of race or personality," she said. "Be proud that you have that because you will get far.”
Being from a traditional family with traditional roles, her family was not too keen on Ramirez joining the military. Ramirez said there have been times where people told her she could not do certain jobs because of her gender and ethnicity.
“It does not matter about my race or gender, don’t be ashamed,” Ramirez said. “We are all capable of a lot of things and don’t let others tell us otherwise.
The United States has been celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month since 1988. Forty-six Hispanic American Soldiers have earned the Medal of Honor, dating back to 1944. Today, 140,000 Hispanic Americans serve in the Army, with 23% serving across III Armored Corps.