DVIDS – News – Idaho National Guard’s First Female Artillery Officer Leads the Way for Others
1st Lt. Abigail Cannon is the Idaho National Guard’s first female field artillery officer, paving the way for other women to join her.
“I think the best part of being first of all is that I set an example of letting others, especially women, know that I and they can do this job successfully and that sex is n has nothing to do with the role,” Cannon said. .
Cannon has only held this position for nearly eight months, after his commission in the artillery as the fire support officer of the 1st Battalion, 148th Field Artillery Regiment.
Cannon’s first field training exercise as a fire support officer took place in June during African Lion ’22, a joint multinational and combined exercise conducted in Morocco comprising approximately 8,000 soldiers from the States States, Ghana, Senegal and Tunisia. Cannon was responsible for directing the daily firing missions of the five M109A6 howitzers that the Idaho National Guard brought in for the two-week exercise in Morocco. She worked hand in hand with the Moroccan fire support officer and together they targeted simultaneous live fire missions.
“Field artillery often supports maneuver elements like infantry or armor, so one of the biggest challenges came when I had to place our artillery components,” Cannon said. “I also had to know then all the different components of the maneuver and their positioning in the area of operations. If I’m providing indirect fire, I don’t want to place artillery guns too close behind a maneuver element.
Cannon said his biggest challenge was always having his eyes on the ground with a 3D understanding of the combat zone.
“I have to know what’s behind and in front of my artillery guys, and also what’s above them,” she said. “Also, I need to know where my artillery shells will be relative to where the other troops are.”
When she’s not leading the fire support team at exercises like African Lion or at her local armory in Pocatello, Idaho, she’s a personal trainer focusing on her online presence to win. and helping a clientele that may not be local to their own community. She believes in the importance of staying mentally and physically fit and enjoys helping others stay fit. On the battlefield, she is focused on leading a successful team.
“As a fire support officer, it’s very important that I have a high performing fire support team,” Cannon said. “My fire support NCO and the forward observers on my team are amazing and they are the ones who do the leg work. They are the most important part of the fire support team. The part the most rewarding part of being their leader is simply being part of an already successful team.
Cannon is a member of the Navajo tribe and very proud of his Native American heritage. She follows in the footsteps of two of her grandfathers who served in the military. Billy Dean Wilson served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and his great-grandfather James Largo served in World War II in the Marine Corps as a Navajo Nation code talker.
As of 2015, some combat positions at the battalion level were still closed to women. In January 2016, the US Army opened all combat roles to women, including field artillery. Cannon joined the Idaho National Guard in 2015 after graduating from high school in Idaho Falls and enrolled in Boise State University’s Army ROTC program.
After completing ROTC in 2020, she earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with a minor in military science. After the BSU program, she attended the Basic Field Artillery Officer Leadership Course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, graduating on the commander’s list in the top 20% of her class. She then returned to Idaho to make history as the state’s first female artillery officer.
|Date posted:||25.07.2022 17:45|
|Location:||BOISE, ID, United States|
|Hometown:||POCATELLO, ID, United States|
This work, Idaho National Guard’s first female artillery officer leads the way for othersby MSgt Becky Vanshuridentified by DVDmust follow the restrictions listed at https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.