Woman makes history as first female Virginia National Guard infantry company commander

Posted at 11:21 PM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 15:29:48-04

WOODSTOCK, Va. – Virginia National Guard history was made over the weekend.

Capt. Candice Bowen became the first woman to take command of a Virginia National Guard infantry company. It happened during a ceremony in Woodstock.

Bowen grew up in Germany as the daughter of an Army sergeant major. She offered some advice to other women considering service in infantry units.

“Do it. Just jump in there. Just jump straight in there and do it aggressively, and enjoy it and have fun. That's it. If you enjoy it, have fun and you are giving it everything you got, you will be absolutely fine. You will love it, and it will be the best thing you ever did,” said Capt. Bowen.

Related: Virginia woman to be the first African-American female leader in West Point’s 200-plus year history

The 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, of which Bowen is now a company commander, includes units across the state, including one in Virginia Beach.