VIDEO: Gladstone recruit is first female to join infantry

IF you asked Rebecca Dunnett where she wants to be in a year's time she would say in a field with a rifle over her shoulder.

It might be not be the "typical" dream of most young women, but for Rebecca it's all she's ever wanted.

On International Women's Day the 19-year-old became the first woman in Queensland to be enlisted into the Australian Army Reserves as an infantry soldier.

It wouldn't come as a surprise to her friends, since the new recruit describes herself as a "tomboy" who would have always preferred to be shooting guns rather than playing with Barbies.

Now she will have a chance to put that enthusiasm to the test.

"I feel pretty special knowing I'm the first," said Rebecca, who recently gave away her apprenticeship as a mechanic to focus on the military.

"I'd like to think I can encourage other women to do the same as me.

"We need more females in the army to make it more equal, to evolve so we're not stuck in this idea only men can do certain things.

"I can't wait to get out there."

This is the first year women have been allowed to join the infantry after the Australian Army declared in 2011 it was abolishing gender restrictions on combat positions.

The changes, described at the time as "a significant and major cultural" shift, were introduced over a five-year period and infantry is the last position to have those restrictions lifted.

Her new boss Major Ed Dahlheimer said while there would still be gender stereotypes to break through, the biggest challenges for women in combat positions were the same as those for men.

"There's a lot of walking, carrying heavy loads, but there's also the fun stuff too," Major Dahlheimer said.

"She'll learn to use a variety of weapons, and become very skilled at using those weapons, and essentially become a warrior for today's society."

There are already women serving in the unit which covers Central Queensland to Cairns, but none are in combat positions.

Topics:  australian army gladstone

Abandoned mine sites could create 6000 jobs

NEW LIFE: Could abandoned mines bring thousands of jobs?

AS MANY AS 30 high-risk mines could create thousands of jobs.

Investor 'interest' in project to build 217 local homes

FUTURE ESTATE?: A syndicate of businessman are selling a Calliope project that is already well under way.

BUYERS weighing up potential of project to build 217 homes.

Owner of iconic Gladstone motel checking out

FAMILY TIME: After years of service to Gladstone's tourism industry, Mary Moore has put her iconic motel on the market so she can spend more time with her family.

ICONIC hotel with celebrity guests is put on the market.

Local Partners

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

REVIEW: Michael McIntyre has Brisbane in stitches

Michael McIntyre in a scene from his TV series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

BRITISH comedian is in the country on his Happy and Glorious Tour.

Cliff Richard doesn't need Rod Stewart's help with legal bills

Sir Cliff Richard

"'Don't worry, I'm loaded. I won't keep you to it.' "

Bindi Irwin named in MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

Coles to pay new owner of Tannum servo $320K

UP FOR GRABS: Expressions of interest in Tannum's new service station, which will house the new Coles Express, closed this month.

INVESTORS bid for new Tannum service station under construction.

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June