You read the title and if you have been following the military actions you might say…oh female servicemembers in the fight. If you didn’t, keep reading.

Lioness are female servicemembers holding positions within the fighting ranks of the infantry. Specifically in the Marines, we utilize them for checkpoints and the like to take charge and to maximize their potential while interacting with the locals. Know though they are in danger like any other while on post and as the article below talks about,while in transit. Our Battalion had a 7-ton truck hit full of lioness switching out at a checkpoint.  Many were injured and some KIA. The enemy knew that an attack on female servicemembers would carry a physiological impact as well.. Its natures way, when females get injured, males protect.  Needless to say the enemies’ ploy worked but only for a short time until they met our Quick Reaction Force (QRF). In campaigns now, there is now “front lines”, you are surrounded by their borders by front lines. No one is in a “safe zone” and those that are relaxed and think they are, will be the enimies next target. One Team One Fight! Keep Attacking  Cpl. Aguilar

By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Melissa Latty
CAMP AL TAQADDUM, Iraq, May 1, 2009 – Cpl. Susy H. Aguilar was a city girl from coastal California when she shocked her family and friends in 2005 to become the first in her family to join the Marine Corps. But joining the Marines was only the first step in many that would surprise and impress those around her.

Aguilar started her military career as a supply clerk at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif. Shortly thereafter, she deployed to Iraq in 2006.

During her deployment, Aguilar stepped out of the warehouse and into the ranks of an infantry unit to serve as a “lioness,” the name given to female servicemembers who search Iraqi women. The program was created to ease cultural sensitivities over interaction between coalition forces and Iraqi women.

Aguilar said she jumped at the chance to serve with the otherwise all-male infantry unit, and that her experiences with the “grunts” have had a profound impact on her.

“There was a time when we were out in what seemed like the middle of nowhere,” she said, recalling her first combat experience. “I was already scared as it was, and then we started to get mortared.

“There was a little [Iraqi] boy who I had been interacting with,” she continued. “He was really scared, and wouldn’t leave my side. One of the grunts came back, gave me his flak jacket and told me to put it on the boy. He had no problem giving up his flak and risking his own safety. That is when I decided I wanted to do a more combat-related [job]. I wanted to be more like them.”

Before her next deployment to Iraq, Aguilar volunteered to go through the machine gunner’s course, even though she doubted that she, as a woman, would be called upon to put the skills to use. She already had extended her enlistment contract in hopes of experiencing the deployment from the turret of an armored vehicle.

“I was really shocked when my name was called and I had been chosen,” she said.

Aguilar was then assigned to Transportation Support Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 7, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, and deployed for her second tour to Iraq in February. She not only was new to the company, but also had to establish her capabilities in the eyes of her male counterparts.

“I wasn’t nervous, but I knew I had to prove myself to them when I was taking apart the gun, cleaning it, or doing a test fire,” she said. “I always felt like they were watching me to see if I knew what I was doing.” However, it didn’t take long for the platoon to realize that Aguilar had what it took to be a gunner and could be counted upon to provide fire support if necessary.

Aside from her role as a gunner, Aguilar ensures the trucks are ready to go before a convoy, and makes sure the right personnel are on manifest documents.

“Of all of my corporals, Aguilar is definitely one of the best,” said Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Andy Smith, Aguilar’s platoon commander. “She does her job and a lot more. She does a lot around the motor pool. She shows up to the convoys an hour early just to make sure everything’s ready so we can roll out.”

Aguilar said she has worked hard to gain the respect of her fellow Marines, and that she thinks highly of her platoon mates.

“We have the best drivers, the best assistant drivers and the best mechanics,” Aguilar said. “Everyone is good at what they do, and there is a lot of trust in our platoon. It’s awesome just knowing that they trust me on the gun to protect them and knowing that they can protect me if I need them to.”

Aguilar said she encourages more female Marines to step up and do the jobs that women don’t often do.

“I have grown a lot both as a Marine and as a person,” she said. “Even through the bad times, I have never regretted my decision to become a gunner.”

(Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Melissa Latty serves with the 2nd Marine Logistics Group’s public affairs office.)

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  1. ” She’s A Soldier, Too ”
    ( A Tribute in Song – ALL Downloads free )
    http://www.ShesASoldierToo.com
    The song below was inspired by the Life, Service & Sacrifice of …
    PFC Katie M. Soenksen
    And,
    ALL the BRAVE women
    who step forward to serve this GREAT NATION !
    On behalf of a grateful Nation,
    Dedicated to the Life, Service, Sacrifice & Family and Friends of …
    PFC Katie M. Soenksen – (19)
    Davenport, Iowa
    410th Military Police Company
    Fort Hood, Texas
    KIA – May 2, 2007
    Baghdad, Iraq
    ” She’s A Soldier, Too ”
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    ( Spoken )
    Gone … are … all the ribbons & lace
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    ( Spoken )
    She’s a Soldier … in a foreign land
    And, today … she … might have held … someone’s dying hand
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    * * *
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    She’s a Soldier … like … any man
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    * * *
    ( Music Interlude – Trumpet INSTRUMENTAL – 2 Verses )
    * * *
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    She’s a Soldier … doing all she can
    She’s a Soldier … ask … any man
    She would … die … for you,
    ‘ Cause … She’s a Soldier … too !
    * * *
    ( Musical Interlude – Piano – High Chorus- # 1 )
    * * *
    ( Spoken – High Chorus – # 2 )
    She’s a Soldier … doing all she can
    She’s a Soldier … just ask … any man
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    * * *
    She’s a Soldier … in a foreign land
    And, she … might have held … dying hands,
    And, God ONLY knows … what she has seen … and, been through
    But … She’s a Soldier … doing all she can
    She’s a Soldier … like … any man
    She would … die … for you,
    She’s a Soldier … too !
    * * *
    ( Musical Interlude – Piano ONLY – Intro, Father’s Hand verses )
    * * *
    She’s a Soldier … in a foreign land
    And, she … might have held … dying hands,
    And, God ONLY knows … what she has seen … and, been through
    She’s a Soldier … doing all she can
    She’s a Soldier … ask … any man
    She would … die … for you,
    She’s a Soldier … too !
    http://www.ShesASoldierToo.com
    ( ALL Downloads are Free )
    Copyright – Nov. 30, 2008
    Susan D. Wiseman – ” The Tribute Lady ”
    http://www.TheTributeLady.com
    ( ALL Downloads are Free )
    ” Christ-Centered Pieces” – Given Gifts
    P.O. Box 1591
    Fayetteville, Ga.
    30214-1591
    This song also comes from my inner thoughts of myself,
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    ” In HIS service … ONLY … For HIM ! ”
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    Moved by the hearts & lives of so many who are suffering loss …
    Like this song says,
    ” God only knows … what I’ve seen & been through. ”
    ” She’s A Soldier, too ! ”
    “THANK YOU” … for ALL you do for our Veterans & Troops!
    God Bless,
    In HIS service,
    Susan D. Wiseman – ” Bugles Across America ”
    Editor http://www.BAAvolunteers.org
    National Coordinator & Ga. State Asst. Director
    http://www.BuglesAcrossAmerica.org
    http://www.myspace.com/buglesacrossamerica
    Susan D. Wiseman – ” The Tribute Lady ”
    http://www.TheTributeLady.com
    http://www.ItIsTheSoldier.com
    (95+ Tributes ALL Free Stream/Downloads)
    http://www.TheTributeLady.blogspot.com
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    Larry S. Wiseman
    National Coordinator
    Georgia State Director
    BuglesAcrossAmerica
    (404) 680-6599
    http://www.LarryWiseman.com
    Larry S. Wiseman – ( Vietnam DUSTOFF Chaplain )
    http://vietnamdustoff.com/chaplinscorner.html

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