AWOL: First female combat engineer in Tennessee wanted for desertion

The Tennessee woman who made headlines last summer by enlisting in the US Army as combat engineer is now being sought on charges of desertion. A federal warrant has been issued for her arrest.

Erika Lopez enlisted in July last year, just after the US army lifted its ban on women in combat roles. She went to basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, but was placed on “convalescent leave” at the end of last year.

Private Lopez was reported absent without leave (AWOL) on January 5th, a day after she was due to return to base.

“After 30 days in an AWOL status, a soldier is considered a deserter and a federal warrant is issued for his or her arrest,” Army spokeswoman Tiffany Wood said, announcing the charges.

h/t JBR