Female Syracuse University ROTC Senior making history

Kyra Azzato 1st at SU, one of nation's 1st females in combat leadership school

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - In early June, a Syracuse University senior is set to make history not just at the school but in the nation.

Kyra Azzato will become the first woman in S.U. century long history of ROTC to attend what's known as infantry basic officer leader course.

Azzato never even considered ROTC as a high school senior, but rather wanted to be a news reporter.

She applied to and was accepted at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, but quickly realized it would be tough to pay for on her own.

Azzato tells NewsChannel 9 she began applying for virtually every possible scholarship, including one for the ROTC.

She won it and accepted the scholarship still not even knowing if military was something she even wanted to do but knew it was her way to attend S.U.

Turns out she was beginning a historic path that no woman had ever been down at Syracuse, which boats one of the oldest ROTC programs in the country.

Azzato says, "I had no idea I was about to start this journey into becoming a leader, I didn't know that one day I would be expected to lead soldiers."

It was only in December of 2015 the military made history by clearing the way for women to serve on the front lines in combat.  It was a career and life changing moment for the Pennsylvania native.

"This is 100 percent what I want to do with my life.  I gave up becoming a reporter right after school, I gave up on that dream because I realized this is where I belong, and this is what I need to be doing with my life."  Azzato says.

Azzato is poised to become one of the nation's first female infantry platoon leaders.

"I hope that someday I can look back and say I hope I inspired other people."  She says.

Azzato graduates from Syracuse in May and head to infantry basic officer leaders course at Fort Benning Georgia on June 3.

She expects to head off to Army Rangers School in October and hopes by this time next year she will in fact be an infantry platoon leader.


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