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Penfield marine makes history

Posted at: 12/04/2012 5:05 PM
Updated at: 12/04/2012 5:51 PM
By: Christine VanTimmeren

History is being made in the military and at the forefront, a Penfield woman.

A 25-year-old First Lieutenant Brandy Soublet will be part of a first of its kind military experiment. Marine combat units are made up of some of the toughest fighters our country has to offer and they have never included women until now.

When we think about marine fighters, we usually think of big strong men. But attitudes about women in the military have changed drastically throughout the history of our country and as of this year, Mercy grad and First Lieutenant Brandy Soublet is a part of that change.

Henry and Eva Soublet haven't pulled out photos of their daughter for a long time. But they are so proud of their marine.

Henry Soublet said, “Oh she is, she's smart. You hear that from ever parent but she's smart.”

At 25-years-old Soublet hasn't yet been deployed.

Henry Soublet said, “We knew this day would come and then you know reality sets in.”

But this spring, she's not only being deployed for the first time, she's making military history. News10NBC's Christine VanTimmeren talked to Brandy by phone from her base in Twentynine Palms, California.

Brandy Soublet said, “I was the first female in this battalion, basically in the history.”

Soublet is part of a military experiment. Forty-five female marines are being integrated into combat battalions.

Brandy Soublet said, “So I’m the logistics officer for a combat engineer battalion. I make sure that they have all the food that they need, all the ammunition that they need, the transportation.”

Henry Soublet said, “It's hard as a parent to share the same enthusiasm when they call you and said I’m going to be in a combat unit. You're like, 'Oh okay, umm, great.'”

But knowing their daughter is living her dream and not only making only them proud, but keeping our country safe is reassuring.

Eva Soublet said, “She can do it, I mean she's strong.”

For Soublet, it's an incredible honor.

Brandy Soublet said, “However, what I keep telling everyone, I’m just a brand new lieutenant in the operating forces. And like any new lieutenant, I’m nervous, I’m excited and I’m just here to do my job.”

First Lieutenant Soublet is extremely modest and says her selection into this program was not based on merit but simply a matter of being at the right place at the right time. She will deploy with her combat battalion to Afghanistan this spring for seven months.

She is part of a combat battalion, but she will not actually be fighting on the front lines. Women still aren't allowed to have infantry specialties and fight with men on the front lines of combat and there's no plans for that to change anytime soon. She will be behind the scenes. But this is a step in the right direction for women in the military.