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KP TIMES

The student news site of Kingwood Park High School

KP TIMES

The student news site of Kingwood Park High School

KP TIMES

Marine Corps offers welcomed challenges for Anisi

Victoria+Anisi+is+joining+the+Marines+after+high+school.
Victoria Anisi is joining the Marines after high school.

I grew up with great admiration for female warriors and heroine characters. Some of my favorites were Trini Kwan, the Yellow Ranger in the original “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” series, and Wonder Woman, the Amazon warrior princess in the DC Universe Wonder Woman movie. Prior to World War II,  roles like that couldn’t even be imagined for women. Women were largely constrained by traditional gender roles which meant them tending to domestic needs and responsibilities, but during the war there was a significant shift. World War II marked a historical turning point for women’s roles in society particularly regarding their integration in traditionally male dominated work fields. If you learned anything from history class, you would know that that was where the concept of “Rosie the Riveter” emerged and became a symbol of women’s newfound presence in the workforce and their challenge to long standing gender stereotypes.

During World War II, the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was formed, later becoming the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), which marked the first introduction of women into the military in the United States. The WAC enabled women to serve in non-combat roles in the US Army, freeing up the men for combat duties in the process. However, post-World War II, most organizations like the WAC that allowed a place for women in the military were disbanded, and women returned to their traditional roles, even after proving their capabilities.

In 1948, the Women’s Armed Service Integration Act was finally passed, granting women the right to serve as permanent members of the military, and in 2016, they were finally allowed to take on any combatant job. Although this looks promising on paper, what happens within the military is inequitable. Sexism and misogyny still dominate the Armed Forces, and the persistence of these gender based challenges continues to hinder the progress of equality and full integration within the United States military.  

I made the decision to join the Marine Corps during my junior year after a Marine recruiter held a seminar with Coach Luke Gorney’s US History class. Prior to that, I didn’t have any knowledge about the military whatsoever, so when he started listing all the benefits of signing up, I was intrigued. Immediately, I requested a form for those interested and filled it out, providing my contact information as required. The recruiter reached out to me and explained more about the Marine Corps. We scheduled a date for him to come to test me at school, and he did. During flex period, I sat down to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) practice test and scored a 60. I was upset that I had failed, but he told me the grading scale was different for the ASVAB compared to what I was used to, and that scoring a 60 was actually a good thing. He said I would do even better on the main test because the practice test is normally harder. Unfortunately, that was where that process ended as I was 16 at the time, and I needed to be 17, and not much would have been done, especially without my parents’ consent, because my skepticism about whether they would agree prevented me from telling them about it.

I had already decided to trash the idea of joining the military and opting for college instead when my elder sister texted me one day, asking in her exact words, “You want to join the Marines?” That message was all it took to kickstart my enlistment into the Marine Corps. My sister spoke to my parents and managed to convince them. She drove me to the recruiting station in Katy, as that was the district she knew of, and they directed me to the one in Humble, where I enlisted. I took the practice test again and scored a 58, and then the ASVAB, scoring a 97. I went to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) in Downtown Houston and finally swore in in February. Now, I’m just waiting for graduation in order to ship out.  

The benefits that came with joining the military were what lured me in. As someone who doesn’t like to adhere to societal norms unless necessary, I wanted that for myself. Yes, I still want to go to college but what I don’t want to do is live my life like a robot programmed to follow instructions. I want to explore my options and take risks, I want to test my limits and watch myself exceed them. I can already imagine myself in the Marine Corps uniform, and how beautiful I would look in it walking with style and panache – which alone is a motivation, but it’s more than that for me. I yearn to belong, I want to establish camaraderie because, as an ambivert, I can be the most awkward and introverted person in a room, but with the right people, my mouth will not stop moving, and I’ll keep jumping around like a monkey. I’m hoping that I will finally be able to gain an identity that will allow me to relate to people with whom I have something in common, as well as challenge myself and shape myself into the person I aspire to be.

Having felt like puking out my guts several times from the workouts in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP), I finally feel myself getting stronger. One thing about the Marines is that their legs are always moving, and that scared me at first because I couldn’t move an inch without panting like a dog. But slowly, I keep proving to myself that there is nothing impossible for me, especially when I have the king of the whole universe by my side. So, with that, I’m proud of my progress.

This world wasn’t designed for women. Women around the world have had to fight for everything they own: marital rights, suffrage, equal pay, property ownership, education, legal rights, sports participation—to name a few. I wouldn’t be surprised if women had to fight to simply exist at some point. But because they fought, my generation of women has a different story to tell today, and that is exactly what inspires me.

 Although we’ve come a long way, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. Women in the military today still suffers gender discrimination and bias, the worst of it all is increased sexual assault and harassment. I want to fight for the women of the future generation, so they don’t have to go through what we go through today and also I want to fight for myself. I want to be an inspiration, if not to women in the world, then at least to women in my family. I might be the first woman in my family to join the Marine Corps, adding to the list of powerful women that we have, and that makes me want to keep trying until I see it through. So many people would say that that’s not enough reason to join the military, and with that mindset, I may not make it through basic training, but only time can tell, and with a passion like mine and God backing me, I think I already know what the future holds. Next stop, Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego. Semper Fi.

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    WingmanMay 10, 2024 at 6:24 pm

    Keep your positive attitude and it will definitely help. I made Marines in San Diego before I retired and even that wasn’t easy. So stay strong and stay positive ma’am…

    Reply