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Women’s History Month

By Marti Gatlin | | March 31, 2011

Accomplishing many achievements like other women and men in her life as well as mentoring youth are among the goals one Marine hopes to attain  that she can pass on as a legacy to the next generation.

Describing herself as part of the Women’s History Month legacy, Lance Cpl. Brittany Pinson, personnel administrator, Military Personnel Branch, Manpower Division, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, said she’s thankful women are annually recognized for their achievements during the month of March.

“It’s good the nation recognizes women’s accomplishments without women having to stand up and acknowledge we’ve accomplished goals - basically not having to fight for recognition,” said   the 21-year-old. “(It) makes me feel like I’ve accomplished the goal I’ve set in my life and something I’ll always be able to pass on to generations who follow me.”

Pinson, who’s served in the Marine Corps for nearly a year, credits several adults in her life who’ve provided her inspiration and encouragement.

Following in her dad’s footsteps, a retired gunnery sergeant who served in the Marine Corps as an armorer, the Lauren, S.C., native praised her parents for pushing her to set goals for her life and her recruiter who motivated her to make the Marine Corps a career.

“I wouldn’t be where I am without my parents,” Pinson said. “They kept pushing me to set goals - long-term, short-term goals. My recruiter, Staff Sgt. Laurie McNeill, made sure I passed my Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. She was behind me all the way. She took a special interest in me. She saw potential in me I didn’t see.”

Pinson worked at a grocery store for a year after graduating high school in Fredericksburg, Md., and then became a telemarketer before joining the Marines at age 19.

Following basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., she participated in Marine combat training for one month at Camp Geiger, N.C. and then military occupational school at Camp Johnson, N.C., for two months. Pinson arrived here, her first duty station, in December 2009.

She noted she wants to pass onto the younger generation what she’s learned from her personal experiences - being a female Marine and growing up with a dad who deployed a lot or who was working a lot. Pinson is thinking about getting involved with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Georgia, Inc., program in Albany and becoming a mentor.

“If I become a mentor (I would pass on about) character, responsibility, pride, confidence, teamwork, communication and life is more than partying, doing drugs,” Pinson said. “(I would) pass on there’s such a thing as goals in life. It took me awhile to understand that. (My parents pushed me) to make decisions. (There’s) more to life than just having fun.”

Pinson portrayed mentoring as a serious goal for her. She has one older sister, a younger brother and a baby sister. Her husband, Damian Johnson, is currently attending Albany State University.

“I like helping out young children,” she said. “I like the feeling (to be able to) change someone’s life in a positive way.”

During her off-duty time, Pinson enjoys fresh water fishing, visiting parks, museums and historic centers, traveling with her husband, attending church and hanging out with friends. She plays volleyball and combat soccer - 5-8 balls kicked at an opposing team’s goal - with her fellow Marines. She plans on attending college and hopes to become a social worker.

Her supervisor, Cpl. Jonathan Simeon, personnel administrator, Military Personnel, commended Pinson and other women for serving in the armed forces. He met Cpl. Racquel Simeon, supply clerk, Supply Management Center, Marine Corps Logistics Command, here and they’ve been married for a little more than a year. His sister, Pfc. Miabel Exantus, is an Army reservist serving as an administrative clerk at Fort McPherson in Atlanta.

Simeon called Women’s History Month “a great event. (It) shows us women have come a long way. They pretty much have equal opportunities like us as men and I applaud females for being in the Marine Corps. Female (Marines) are now receiving more training like the men.”

Simeon has a 6-year-old daughter.

He has known Pinson for almost a year.

“She has a real strong will, very self-driven,” he said. “She’s still a little young to set the examples. (She’s) doing a good job as a good follower and a good listener and will be a great leader. She’s very concerned with the welfare of everyone (in Military Personnel). She can identify when someone isn’t feeling well and she wants to help them out. She’s a very caring individual.”

Simeon’s wife echoed him and Pinson about acknowledging women’s achievements during Women’s History Month.

“I think it’s good because women have done a lot to get some recognition in this country and (we) take some time to recognize what women contribute to this country,” she said.

Racquel added she feels she’s part of women’s history.

“It takes a lot to be in the military in general and to be a part of (women’s history) and to be recognized for that is really outstanding,” she said.