US Army, 2018 to present
Ally Fraley is the daughter of Chris and Michelle Fraley. She has a younger sister Caitlin who is a 2019 FHS graduate. Ally graduated from Findlay High School in 2015 where she played soccer, softball, basketball, ran track and was on the swim team. Academically she enjoyed Art and Marketing and was a member of DECA.
Ally wanted to join the Army after high school but was persuaded by her dad to attend college instead. She completed a semester at the University of Akron majoring in Business and playing on the rugby team. Still determined to join the army Ally returned to Findlay and enlisted. She plans to finish her degree while in the Army.
“I wanted to serve in the military since I was very young. I always looked up to those in uniform and I wanted to serve my country.”
Ally signed a contract to train as an 11B- Infantry as she wanted to get the “real Army feeling.” Her grandfather was a role model for her as he also served in the Army. Ally spent 14 weeks at Ft. Benning Georgia completing basic training and OSUT (AIT). In OSUT the recruits learned to fire various weapons, dig foxholes, and maneuver as a team in the field. Ally was tested and interviewed and then selected for assignment to the mounted armored infantry. She trained to drive the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
(The Bradley is an armored quick response assault vehicle, armed with a 25mm M242 Bushmaster and a M240 machine gun. The Bradley also transports six soldiers.)
After training Ally was ordered to Ft.Bliss Texas joining the 3rd platoon, Bravo Company, 1/6 Battalion Infantry of the 2nd Brigade. She was in the first group of women to train and join a Bradley combat unit. The men were a bit uncertain about them until they saw the women in action. Now they are accepted as equals. Ally is currently part of a three-man crew, serving as a driver and training to be the gunner.
Her unit recently returned from a rapid deployment exercise combined with the Polish army in Poland.
“I really enjoyed the time in Poland. We did live in tents, while it was cold and rainy, existing primarily on MRE’s, but a local company would deliver Polish pizza and wonderful calzones.”
At the completion of the exercise PFC Ally was called out to be recognized by the Brigade Commander and Sergeant Major as the outstanding soldier of the exercise.
Just hitting her nine month mark, Ally is planning to make the military her career, finish her degree and then complete the “Green to Gold” program and become an officer.