LAS VEGAS . (KTNV) — With a father who is a Marine, Chantal Brown grew up in a household with rules. She. Then chose to follow the same career path, joining in 2010 and training at Parris Island.
“I was already kind of mentally prepared when I got to boot camp except it was four drill instructors coming at me, not just my dad,” said Brown.
She spent four years active duty with most of that time stationed in Japan and one deployment to Korea. She now serves in the reserves, based out of Las Vegas.
Through her time in the Marines, she said she’s had to work to prove herself, which she says is not an uncommon problem for women in the military.
“There’s this ongoing conversation of if I go down in combat with a full combat load, I’m 215 pounds and this pack this rifle is the same size as me, are you going to be able to pull me out in a fire fight,” she said.
Her knows her answer. Yes.
“When you challenge me like that, it just motivates me to do it even more so I can prove a point,” she said.
At first, she said her team locally doubted her skills as a woman but she has since proven herself.
“A lot has changed significantly and people are starting to become more and more open minded but it’s an ongoing stigma but after a while, I’m in an all male unit and seeing me run and gun with them, she’s one of us, she’s a Marine, it’s not even a matter of if I’m a female, it’s a Marine. Period,” she said.
Now, she’s working toward a new goal. She wants to become a personal trainer and teach people about physical fitness. She’s taking classes at the Advanced Training Institute to make this dream a reality. She’s also being promoted to Staff Sergeant.
“I personally want to show that no matter who you are, your body type your gender, doesn’t matter. If you put your mind to something you can do it. Focus on the goals and you can do it,” said the Marine.