Soldiers of Alpha Troop gathered last Friday to watch Capt. Samantha Domingue, the first ever cavalry-qualified female officer, take command of a combat troop in the Army.

Capt. Domingue took command of A Troop, 1st Squadron, 303rd Cavalry Regiment (1-303rd CAV), 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) of the National Guard.

Her appointment marks a milestone for the army and the military at large, which has in recent months made strides in integrating women into combat positions that were for centuries held exclusively by men.

“The squadron is already leading with a female platoon leader in Bravo Troop,” said Lt. Col. Chris Blanco, commander, 1-303rd CAV, in a release. “We have strong females in almost every formation. This was the next logical step to progress, not only for the squadron and where it's at but the Guard in general.”

Domingue hopes that her actions inspire others to pursue leadership opportunities.

“Cross pollination of talent and knowledge is necessary for the betterment of the organization. If there are officers or soldiers on the fence about [changing career paths], I hope my command motivates them to pursue those positions.

Capt. Domingue's squadron is currently in preparation for a combat training rotation at Fort Hunter Ligett and Camp Roberts in California.