Denver woman becomes first female infantryman in Colorado

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DENVER -- A young woman made history as the state’s first woman enlisted into a combat role.

Kayleigh Schlag was enlisted by the U.S. Army Denver Recruiting Battalion as an 11X infantryman as part of the Department of Defense’s initiative to lift all gender-based restrictions on military service.

“It was the best feeling I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Schlag said of the enlistment ceremony. “I was so nervous and then when the ceremony actually came, I thought this is real. I actually made it to the point where I want to be. My entire life I talked about going into the military and actually being there and swearing in and being a part of history. It was the greatest feeling.”

Schlag, 21, is a native of Denver and graduated from Heritage High School in Littleton. The Denver Recruiting Battalion believes Schlag is the sixth female in the country to be enlisted into a combat role.

”I want to be on the front line helping my brother in arms or now, my sister in arms and protecting them and fighting for everyone back here who can’t,” Schlag said. “It means a lot to me to be able to do that.”

Next up for Kayleigh is basic training at Fort Benning, Ga.

“I need to prove not to just myself but everybody here that I can do this and I’m ultimately going to," she said.