North Texas Teens are Army's First Female Infantry Recruits in Texas

Two North Texas teenagers are responding to the call of duty.

Shelby Sparkman and Hannah Carpenter, both 17, are the first women in Texas to enlist in the U.S. Army's infantry.

Both are juniors in high school.

"I've always been taught you have to keep your mind on what you want, and you can't let things distract you from that," Sparkman said. "I'm not the ideal, tough-built man, even now, I'm not the tough built woman who people would see and say, 'She could do it.' I just say, 'You don't know what I can do.' These people don't know me. They're calling me a Barbie, but they don't even know me."

Sparkman, who is five-feet and one-inch tall and 100 pounds, spoke to a recruiter last month at a music festival and later met him at the U.S. Army's Frisco office.

"Everybody (online) calls her 'Infantry Barbie.' She is very short, very light, very small in stature, and has highlights in her hair," said Army Staff Sgt. Dylan Florentin. "She was really interested in 11x, which is infantry. I made sure before she made her way down there, she knew what she was getting her self into."

Sparkman and Carpenter were sworn-in last week. They start basic training together next year.

"I don't want to be held to a lower standard because the point is to push yourself," Sparkman said. "I want to be pushed. I want to train myself because you're not going to get half a person's body weight when you need to help them, save them or move them."

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