Yesterday, the Army promoted Command Sgt. Maj. Teresa L. King to commandant of its drill sergeant school in Fort Jackson, S.C., making her the highest-ranking drill sergeant at the institution, and the first woman to run one of the Army's schools for drill sergeants.
According to The New York Times
, "Just 8 percent of the active-duty Army's highest-ranking enlisted soldiers -- sergeants major and command sergeants major -- are women, though more than 13 percent of Army personnel are female."
So why are the numbers so low? Well, typical "women's issues" like pregnancy and less typical ones like the prohibition on women serving on the front lines can keep women out of the military -- and especially out of high-ranking positions.
But King -- who was once married and lost a pregnancy -- wasn't going to let her X chromosomes keep her from making it to the top. When speaking to the Times, the 48-year-old King said, "When I look in the mirror, I don't see a female," Sergeant Major King said. "I see a soldier."
Still, King describes her charges as "my children" and said one of her goals is to recruit more women to the school -- women who, like her, won't taken any BS from anyone, especially men.
While King can recall only a handful of times men challenged her authority because she was a woman, "When they did," she said, "I could handle it."