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History
Minnesota National Guard
Fargo native jumps at opportunity to enlist into field artillery position

Nicole McCullough One day after her seventeenth birthday, Nicole McCullough marched into the Grand Forks Military Entry Processing Center with her brother by her side to enlist. The military occupational specialty of her choice? 13B - a cannon crew member.

"I've always wanted to enlist," she said.

But why be one of Minnesota's first females to sign up for what has up until recently been a male-only job in the military? "It's cool," she said. "I've always been interested in artillery and infantry. When it opened up to females I was like, 'yeah, I want to do that'," she said.

At just barely 17 years old, McCullough is a planner. She's got her future sorted out and she's excited to attend Basic Training this summer. "It couldn't come soon enough," she said. After her senior year of high school she plans on attending a two-year college for nursing.

But the planning doesn't stop with her own life. After hearing her 19-year-old brother complain about barely making enough money to pay a monthly apartment rental, and having to take on a roommate to make ends meet, she not only convinced her brother to sign up for the Guard with her (he enlisted as an 88M, Motor Transport Operator), but she also talked her brother's roommate into enlisting as well.

"The National Guard is a good opportunity," she said.

It's been just a few weeks since the Department of Defense lifted the ban on women in combat military occupational specialties, and already Minnesota has enlisted three young women into this terra incognita.

When pressed by what she meant when she said she 'always wanted to enlist,' McCullough said, "I just want to serve my community and there are great benefits too."

McCullough is a junior at West Fargo high school.

January 5, 2016
by Capt. Melanie Nelson
Minnesota National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion



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