Great Britain

Meet gun-toting ‘combat barbie’ who’s been in the Marines for eight years and can kill with her bare hands

SHE freely admits most people are "typically surprised" when she tells them what she does. 

But looks can be deceptive, for this Marine Corp officer has been deployed to no less than 100 countries and boasts a black belt in hand-to-hand combat. 

Meet combat engineer officer, Brie Burgett, 28, from Lancaster, Ohio.

Her career began after graduating university with a double honours degree in political science and international relations — aged just 19.

But having left college so young, Brie struggled to find a suitable job for her. 

Soon after, she met with several branches of the military and decided to join the Marine Corps in 2011.

She said: “When I walked into a Marine Corps’ recruiting office, they scoffed at a ‘Barbie’ wanting to join and doubted I would meet the physical scores required.

“Shortly after I became one of the youngest woman to ever commission in the US Marine Corps.”

People are typically surprised to learn about my job because I do not look like what most people picture as a Marine

US Marine officer Brie Burgett

Many of her peers gave the young blonde a hard time for being a “Barbie”. 

But Brie set out to prove them wrong. 

She studied and trained non-stop and the hard work paid off.

For Brie graduated top of her combat engineering class, obtained the highest female physical fitness test levels in her unit, and earned her black belt in hand to hand combat.

Brie has undertaken several deployments and travelled to an impressive 108 different countries including Japan, Germany and Thailand. 

She said: “People are typically surprised to learn about my job because I do not look like what most people picture as a Marine.

Brie is conscious of the fact that she is a woman in a male-dominated line of work.

“Many times, I was told that I was the first female officer [my colleagues] had worked with, which made it much more important to work hard and set expectations high.

By the time I made it to the fleet I had both the highest PFT and CFT (physical fitness tests) females from across the Unit.

“One of the biggest issues I have seen in male-dominated workplaces is that too often, women divide themselves and don’t support each other."

But despite this several of her female friends from the initial Marine Corps training have become some of her closest friends. 

Years later – after several deployments – they have been there to encourage each other. 

Women in the US military have only just begun to be integrated into all combat arms.

She said: "The progress has been deliberate and feels slow at times.

“It is incredible to see how far things have come. It’s quite exciting to be a part of this round of generational change.”

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