Spc. Tinita Taylor receives her Jungle Expert tab during a Jungle Operations Training Course graduation ceremony June 2. (Sgt. Brian C. Erickson/Army)
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About six months after opening, the Army’s Jungle Operations Training Course in Hawaii graduated its first female soldier.
Spc. Tinita Taylor, with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, earned her Jungle Expert tab Monday, according to an Army news release.
“I had to keep reminding myself, ‘Mind over matter,’” Taylor said in the release. “My head and my body had to work together to finish this.”
It’s not the last gender barrier targeted by Taylor, who said she’s “halfway to being the warrior princess I want to be” — she wants to become the first female soldier to finish Ranger School, she said in the release.
Taylor, of Caruthersville, Missouri, has been in uniform for three years, according to the release.
The jungle-warfare course is the Army’s first since leaving Panama’s Fort Sherman in 1999. (Read more about the school here.) The first soldiers to tackle the new 21-day course graduated March 26.
The Jungle Expert tab is authorized only for soldiers with the 25th ID.