Women of the Military

Geospatial Intelligence in the Air Force

Episode Summary

What is it like to serve as a Geospatial Intelligence Air Force member? Listen to Marissa's story of how she found her way to the Air Force and what it was like to be a Geospatial Intelligence anaylist. Marissa joined the Air Force when her mom talked to a friend who happened to married to an Air Force recruiter about the financial strain of college. Her mom introduced her to the recruiter and he shared the educational benefits which led her to join the Air Force.

Episode Notes

Geospatial Intelligence in the Air Force

She served four years on active duty in the Air Force as a Geospatial Intelligence Imagery Analyst. She didn’t really know what job she wanted to do when she joined the Air Force, but her ASVAB score allowed her to work in Intel and her recruiter recommended that option. Even though she didn’t particularly enjoy the career field, but she did excel and felt like part of the military mission.

She struggled through Boot Camp facing an injury that turned into stress fractures making it painful to run and march. But she did graduate and then waited to pass a running test before she headed off to tech school. While at tech school she faced challenges with two higher-ranking women who spread lies about her and eventually were able to convince the leadership to recycle her back to the next class.

The struggle continued

But the struggles with the women who were causing her undue stress were just one of the challenges she faced. Her best friend confided in her that she had been gang-raped by their classmates. She eventually reported it and went to mental health. Once she went to mental health, she was told she had to be reassigned to a new career field. The men who gang-raped her went unpunished and Marissa had to march to class with them every day. Knowing what they did and that they were not punished. She also feared that it would happen to her.

The fear of being assaulted or raped never diminished and she felt trapped because she couldn’t go to mental health to talk to someone and not risk a negative impact on her career. Even with all the struggles she considered reenlisting but wasn’t allowed to cross-train so she decided to leave the military behind.

Transition out of the military

She became a student and struggled with the transition as she went from military to civilian. She didn’t know what her purpose was and struggled to figure out how to move forward. Luckily, she was able to find her purpose and graduate with her degree and master's.

Connect with Marissa:


Mentioned in this episode:

The Invisible War

Ekk! I’m a Civilian Now

Girl's Guide to the Military Free Guide

Girls Guide to the Military YouTube

Related Episodes:

Weapons System Officer in the Air Force – Episode 71

Working on Jet Engines in the Air Force – Episode 61

Going through MEPS in the Air Force – Episode 34

Check out the full transcript here. 

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:

Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe, Lorraine Diaz

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Episode Transcription

Amanda Huffman00:00

Welcome to Episode 127 of the women in the military podcast. Today my guest is Marissa rock, she joined the Air Force when her mom talked to a friend who happened to be married to an Air Force recruiter about the financial strain of college. Her mom introduced her to the recruiter, and he shared the educational benefits which led her to join the Air Force. She likes to say that her recruiter said she is the success story that he never expected her to make it through boot camp. And she did. So she likes to tell her story because if she can do it, anyone can do it. And she served as a geospatial intelligence imagery analyst and she didn't really know what job she wanted to do. But when she got her as fab score, and then allowed her to work in Intel, her recruiter recommended that she look into that career field. And so that's what she did. We also talked about the struggles that she faced with some of the women in her group causing her undue stress. And she also had a very close friend who confided in her that she had been gang raped by their classmates and the military did nothing to help that young lady and she reported it went to mental health, and once she went to mental health, she was told she had to be reassigned to get a new career. Phil so this is another story highlighting some of the issues within the military with military sexual assault and trauma. And so I'm thankful that Marissa was brave enough to share the story and how it affected her even though she wasn't the one who was raped. It's another great interview. So let's get started. You're listening to season three of the women on the military podcast Here you will find the real stories of female servicemembers. I'm Amanda Huffman, I am an Air Force veteran, military spouse and Mom, I created women in the military podcast in 2019. As a place to share the stories of female service members past and present, with the goal of finding the heart of the story, while uncovering the triumphs and challenges women face while serving in the military. If you want to be encouraged by the stories of military women and be inspired to change the world. Keep tuned for this latest episode of women on the military. March so let's highlight another woman run podcast this week I'm highlighting the podcast the combat divas podcast tonisha B and tg are two female combat veterans who humorously co host and tell their experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq. And in their day to day life experiences. Their conversations highlight the ups and downs of being a female in the army sight PTSD, relationships, sex, wellness, and current events. They do it all. And when I say they do it all, they tell her a lot of topics and they cover them in a way that's very raw and honest and also entertaining. So if you're looking for a podcast with real advice, and real in depth discussion of topics that matter, I highly recommend going to check out the combat divas podcast. And now let's get started with this week's episode featuring Marissa Rock. Welcome to the show. Marissa. I'm excited to have you here.


Marissa Rock03:27

Thanks. I'm excited to be here.


Amanda Huffman03:29

So let's start with why did you decide to join the Air Force?


Marissa Rock03:32

This is a fun story of mine. So joining the military was honestly never really on my radar. It was just never really an option I had considered you know, like from high school to college. I just didn't know anything about it. nobody in my family had served except for my pop up who was in the Navy during World War Two. So yeah, I just always envisioned myself going to college, which is what I ended up doing right after high school. I went to a college about an hour away from home at Millersville University in Pennsylvania and worked two jobs as a waitress but ended up just kind of being frustrated with the environment mostly because, you know, had to prioritize working and studying while everyone else was like partying all the time. And I just found that I matured really quickly. In my teenager years, it was just my my mom and me. Once high school started, my sister went off to college and stuff like that, too. So I knew a lot about our financial situation and was kind of expected to get a job and help out and things like that. So during my third semester of college, I just I realized I didn't want to be that additional financial burden on my mom. And my mom actually ended up relaying my frustrations to one of her friends whose husband was an Air Force recruiter at the time. So we all went out to dinner one night and after learning about the education benefits, I was just like so ready to sign my life away. My mom of course was nervous wreck about it. And so was my recruiter to be honest.


Amanda Huffman05:04

But you decided that the education benefits was like the main driver to get you to join and you didn't really think about what that meant to join the military. 


Marissa Rock05:15

Yeah, I just the whole process of joining was so funny. I mean, yeah, cuz education was, of course, the driving factor I but I was just so oblivious to like the military culture and the requirements, you know, I had to, I had to gain weight, hope they didn't realize I had scoliosis. And so, like the night before I shaved off my recruiter, and I actually had to stop at a mall to get a stuck piercing out of my ear. And then afterwards, stop for nail polish remover, like the whole nine yards. Like it was just, I was oblivious. And he admits to this day that he's surprised that I not only made it through, but excelled and received, you know, several accolades along the way. And he even said that he uses me as his success story. If anyone was weary about joining.


Amanda Huffman06:04

Like, you can do it, Marissa did it. 


Marissa Rock06:07

Exactly, if Marissa can do it, anyone can do it.


Amanda Huffman06:11

That's really interesting. I feel like there were a lot of unknowns and like questions not answered. Do you feel like you got in the right career field? Or do you even think, though, like, the Air Force was the right choice? Or was it kind of like you met this recruiter, and you needed a way to pay for college? And so you just checked the boxes and, and went off to boot camp?


Marissa Rock06:32

Yeah, that's kind of how it happened. Honestly, I because, again, I didn't know anything about how the jobs worked. I mean, I went to take the ASVAB. And, you know, I was just very briefly educated on like, okay, you know, you get these certain scores. And it depends on, you know, your scores, whether you know, what jobs you qualify for, and all that. But again, I mean, I wasn't really I studied for the ASVAB, but I never had a specific job in mind. And I mean, I flunked like the electronics portion. And like, you have all those like mechanical like technical things, but luckily had like an overall like a higher general score or something. So I just remember getting like a printout of all these jobs I was qualified for and then my recruiter noticed that, like, I qualified for all the Intel jobs, and he's like, Oh, you should do that. It's, you know, Intel's really, really nice. I think you'd like it. And I'm like, okay, you know, I just kind of trusted him because he was a family friend. So I ended up enjoying it for the most part. I mean, I so I joined, let's see 2011. And I was four years on active duty. And then again, like this, this is a little tangential. But like, I didn't know that I could do like Guard or Reserve like, I thought, I just had no idea about how any of it worked. So ended up doing active duty, from 2011 to 2015. So I was a geospatial intelligence imagery analyst. And my basic training was, of course at lackland in San Antonio. And then my tech school training was at Goodfellow in San Angelo, Texas. And then I was stationed at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia. And then that's where I specialized in battle damage assessment. So yeah, I mean, I enjoyed my job for the most part, but you know, because it was, it was pretty straightforward. I kind of had this, you know, like a typical day would revolve around contingency planning. So I'd have like a Monday through Friday, seven to four kind of schedule, you know, I did work 12 hour shifts on like a day and night rotation whenever we were in 24 hour Ops, but most of my time, during that contingency planning was putting together weekly intelligence briefings for our Squadron, job related briefings for our visiting commanders developing training materials and leading exercises to train National Guard squadrons across the country. So I mean, it was a pretty fulfilling job, I guess. But you know, especially being that young, you know, like, 1920 years old, you feel like, you know, you have this really important job to do. But just over the years, I found that I was just not I was feeling like, I would probably be more fulfilled by a career where I was working more with people rather than with computers, you know, you were, you had your Squadron, of course of people you're working with, but I wasn't feeling like I was directly helping anyone. So that's kind of why I, I actually considered staying in because I was promoted to a five, but I wanted to retrain, but they at the time, our career field was critically manned. So they wouldn't let me so I kind of just said, Okay, well, I'm done then. Because I didn't want to re enlist and stay in that same career field. So I was like, This must be assigned to just, you know, go back to school like I had planned to do.


Amanda Huffman09:50

Yeah, sometimes I think it's funny that the military is like, your career field is so important. We aren't gonna let you leave and you're like, Well, my commitments up and they're like, We're still not gonna let you cross train. It's like, Well, I was gonna stay in, but you're not letting me move into a new job. Right?


Marissa Rock10:09

Yeah, it's interesting. You know, you think they just want to keep you no matter what job you have.


Amanda Huffman10:14

I think they do. But they think for some reason, they're like, Oh, it's critically man, like, and maybe they'll I don't know, maybe they'll guilt trip you into staying into the job. I don't know, the military does some silly stuff sometimes. So when you were in the military, you say that your job like It Wasn't your favorite thing to do. But you found fulfillment. And it was pretty straightforward. So and you said that you were promoting? Until did you face any challenges while serving on active duty?


Marissa Rock10:42

So many challenges? I mean, where do I Where do I begin physical, mental, emotional, I mean, in that it started, you know, basically, day one. And in basic training, I ended up developing stress fractures in both nations by like, the second or third week of basic training. So that was just overall, a pretty big physical struggle for me, because I was just in a lot of pain, but and not just when we ran, but when we marched, you know, it was all the time. And you know, just any time we were carrying equipment, it made it worse. And yeah, my injury was actually bad enough that I got held back from going to tech school until I could pass a running test, you know, even though I'd already passed all of them during basic training, but I guess they just didn't want me to show up to tech school with a waiver, even though you know, I ended up getting put back on one anyway. There's just, it was just frustrating, because there's really nothing you can do to heal stress fractures, except for rest, you know?


Amanda Huffman11:40

Yeah. So do you feel like you cuz you said you like went to get the piercing removed, and you like your fingernail polish remover? Did you feel like you were prepared, like physically did your recruiter have you, like, run or do push ups or anything before you left for basic training,


Marissa Rock12:03

It was a tricky situation, because I definitely needed work on my runtime. But the thing was, I actually needed to gain weight to join. So I was just eating a lot of protein bars. And like, actually doing a little bit of weightlifting with one of my friends from high school. So it was sort of a tricky balance, because I didn't want to do like all this cardio, and then, you know, lose pounds, you know, doing that, because it was hard for me to keep weight on at that age. I guess just my metabolism was so fast. I wish I could go back to those days. But yeah, I just I barely made the weight requirement. I remember like the morning at the hotel, you know, going down for breakfast, you know, when you this chipping off date or whatever. And all these girls are like barely wanting to eat like at my table, and I'm like, shoving my face and like drinking all this water and like holding my pee until like after they weighed me to make sure I fit the requirements. So that was kind of crazy. But I mean, yeah, in general, I feel like I was physically ready ish. You know, I wasn't I wasn't super behind when I got there. I mean, it definitely had some work to do. But I felt like I had a pretty good baseline.


Amanda Huffman13:18

That's good to hear. So then we'll dive a little bit more into like the mental and emotional challenges that you mentioned.


Marissa Rock13:26

Yeah. So when once I finally got to tech school, that's when I faced you know, more of the mental and emotional struggles there were two female surgeons in my class who were determined to make my life a living hell for no reason. They just they harass me about the most random things, they harass me about my blonde hair color, being out of regs. When all 11 of my MTL said it wasn't, you know, just stupid stuff like that, you know, they came up, they came up with off the wall accusations against me and like threatened to report me for things I didn't do or say they started rumors about my sex life and sexuality and, you know, spread those rumors to get amongst our classmates, like right in front of me. It was just crazy. I I'd never understood why that was happening. I never did anything to them, you know, for for them to do that. To me. It's just very childish and shocking, you know, because they were probably like, late 20s, early 30s. You know, they were tech sergeants and staff sergeants and I was an airman you know, and I just didn't understand why, you know, like what I did to deserve that.


Amanda Huffman14:37

Yeah. Were they there as like classmates?


Marissa Rock14:40

Yeah, they were they were re trainees or whatever, you know, like they were switching career fields. Yeah. So yeah, they even I know this sounds crazy, but like I believe it wholeheartedly. They conspired with our class instructors to claim that I failed two tests in a row, which I know for fact was not possible, because I was making good grades on everything. And so the instructors refused to show me my test results. So that's how I knew like, this wasn't actually true. Instead, they decided to watch me back for months. Or I mean, it was like, they washed me back to the class that was behind us, which so happened to be four months behind. And then after that, I had to march to the school house every day, just to sit there for four months, watching my new class, learn everything I had already learned and pass the tests for. And I just, I didn't have any say in anything because they outranked me, you know, I just had no voice. I, I remember calling my mom crying. You know, like, at least once a week. It was just a rough. rough time.


Amanda Huffman15:51

Yeah, that sounds horrible. And like, and there's no closure on like, why they did it? Right. It's just, it's just like this weird thing that will always kind of haunt me. Yeah, that's really sad and unfortunate. But even though you had to do for months, over a year, eventually you were able to graduate and then go to Langley to start your job. So was there any negative impact on getting rewashed? Besides, besides that you had to do the class over again?


Marissa Rock16:23

I mean, yeah, just, you know, tech school, you don't have all your freedoms. So just kind of that idea of Oh, my gosh, the finish line, the light at the end of the tunnel is another four months, which just seems like forever when you're in that situation. And, you know, just Yeah, not having all your independence and having to just go through the motions of, you know, marching to and from class, knowing that you're not going to be learning anything new that day. You know, it's just, it's frustrating. It was just really frustrating. 


Amanda Huffman16:58

Wow, that makes a lot of sense. And because I was an officer, when I went to what would be kind of like tech school, it wasn't the same thing. And so I don't I don't ever think about but I was like, Oh, yeah, that was really, that would make life a lot harder. Because tech school isn't. It's not like college. Like, my tech school is more like college where I like went class. And then I had freedom and like, there was no marching. And so that makes a lot more sense. Why, like mentally, it would be even tougher, because it's like a light at the end of the tunnel. And then it's like, No, you get to do it all over for four months, when you didn't even get the proof that you failed. 


Marissa Rock17:38

rExactly. Yeah, that was, that was probably the most annoying thing about at all was that there was no proof.


Amanda Huffman17:44

Yeah. So you went to Langley, and you started working your job and mentioned you were like, Paul, you're part of the squadron. did things get better as you continue to serve in the Air Force?


Marissa Rock17:57

Yes. And no, I guess I didn't mention another thing that happened during tech school, which was one weekend, my best friend confided in me and told me, she was gang raped by our fellow classmates. I was just, I was shocked, you know, livid, guilty that I wasn't there when maybe I could have stopped it from happening. And shortly after she, you know, understandably decided to seek mental help. But then once she did, that, she was informed, she was no longer eligible to continue training for an intelligence career field. So she was sent to a different career field while I had to march alongside her perpetrators daily, who ended up not facing any consequences for their actions. So I think that was like, probably the biggest thing, you know, going through the motions of marching, but, you know, not just marching, but marching with my best friends, perpetrators, knowing that they weren't, you know, facing any consequences. And then, you know, and then not having my best friend there anymore, you know, it's like, she's off to Japan now, you know, and like, it's just, it was just very surreal. And something that, honestly, I didn't really think about, I wasn't educated enough prior to joining about how prevalent sexual assault was in the military. So, you know, the rest of my time in, I was just kind of paranoid and scared, you know, for myself and for my fellow female colleagues, and you know, it's just scary.


Amanda Huffman19:40

And even more scary, because when she went to report it, and went to mental health, they were like, you can't be in this job anymore. And that, I mean, you knew that so like, even right now, like years later, you're I can see that your emotional, I don't know if people can hear it, but like, I can see The tears that are forming and like how much it impacted you. And you were stuck in a place where you couldn't talk to anyone because you couldn't go to mental health because your job and like, yeah, I think 2020 showed us a lot of things. But 2020 showed us how big of a problem military sexual trauma is within the military. And this is another unfortunate story that people tell stories like this all the time where they reported it, and then nothing happened and like, and the mental effects, it happened on her. But it also had such an impact on you having to walk to class with those same people, knowing what they did, and that nobody like that just mentally would be so scary. Because you.


Marissa Rock20:47

Yeah. And just, you know, having a little bit of, I guess, relief once I got to Langley, you know, from not have, you know, having more freedom and independence and getting away from those. But Sorry, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to say that. But, you know, still kind of that fear of what if that happens to me, I mean, that. I mean, at that point, I was thinking this could happen to anyone, if it happened to her, it could happen to anyone in any situation.


Amanda Huffman21:21

Yeah, that's true. And that's, I think, that being aware of it helps protect you, you're less likely to trust people, which is unfortunate, but it's important, especially for women who are joining, to be aware of the culture and like, how, how you need to be on your guard, and you need to protect yourself. And it makes it it's really, it's really frustrating. It's Yeah.


Marissa Rock21:51

And it's just, it's just like that hyper vigilance on steroids. Because you're already taught to be hyper vigilant, when you join the military. I mean, that's just part of the training, and then having something like that happen to you or your friend or whoever, just knowing that it's happening around you. It's just like it hype. It heightens that hyper vigilance to an extreme.


Amanda Huffman22:14

Yeah, and this was with your second class that you went through that this happened or there.


Marissa Rock22:21

Yes, she wasn't actually in my class, but it was around that timeframe.


Amanda Huffman22:27

Oh, man, deep stuff. But it's important that we talk about it, even the stuff that's not rah rah, the military, but the like reality, because people need to know, what has what has happened. And I believe what continues to happen in the military. And we can't make changes if we don't speak up and talk about the story. So thank you for sharing that. Yeah, of course. So let's talk about your time at Langley, and what that experience was like, besides having the mental stress the whole time of knowing what happened to your friend and that you felt like it could happen to you because it could.


Marissa Rock23:09

Yeah, and I liked it at Langley, I liked my Squadron. I think my favorite part was PT, honestly, I mean, even though I had to go through all those crazy injuries and things and I had to work really hard to kind of get back to where I was, or just kind of keep improving our Squadron required group PT three times a week. And you know that that would sound horrible to some people. But I mean, I liked that PT was built into our schedule, you know, like, Hey, you don't have a choice. Let's go work out. It's like, Okay, well, here we go. So we were all just really competitive in our Squadron and the majority of us are in really great shape. And you know, prided ourselves on those perfect or near perfect PT scores. You know, the, the names of the people who scored a 99 or 100, on their PT test would be posted on a board at their front of our building. So yeah, I just really enjoyed that competitive nature. And I think in our specific career field, we just all really needed that exercise outlet after sitting staring at computer screens all day.


Amanda Huffman24:13

Yeah, I forgot about how much I loved group PT. We did PT three times a week too. And we had to get there at like, 630. And normally, we didn't have to get there till seven. But it was like it was still I was like, Oh, I get to go work out for an hour and I get paid. Like, it's not like I should go where guys like no, you have to go work out. And we always had a lot of fun. Not when we did like group workouts and it does build like a team type environment. You're like working out doing all these exercises. And everyone's Well, we got to do like sports and stuff like that.


Marissa Rock24:53

yeah, those are those are the fun days with the sports. For sure.


Amanda Huffman24:58

Yeah. So let's talk a little bit about your transition out of the military, you said you had wanted to cross train. And the military said, You're too important to cross train. So you decided to get out and go to school. So when you left the military, did you feel ready for the transition from active duty to being a student? Again? In a way?


Marissa Rock25:20

Yes, because I had gone to college for a little while before I joined. But it was so very different having this military experience under my belt going back. So I, I think I mentioned I separated it was March of 2015. But the way you know, the school calendar works, you have to apply, you know, before I think like the December timeframe or something like that. So I had, I was prepared in the sense of, I'm always a planner, like, that's just my nature. So I looked into you and C's linguistics program, because I was, I had to finish up my undergrad first. And I was actually so I guess I didn't mention that I was going for Spanish education before I joined. But then I kind of learned a little bit more about language and linguistics, and that I could kind of just do more of a general linguistics study at UNC, and they had a small, really highly ranked program. So that's what intrigued me about that. So I applied that fall before I separated and got accepted, thankfully. And so by the time I separated, I knew what I was going to do. But it was just, it was a very weird transition. Like it was so exciting. But I just all of a sudden, also felt very lost, you know, because my purpose, that purpose that was so important, you know, that really important job I had, you know, was just automatically taken from me. And, you know, as a student, you, you don't really I mean, you're just sitting there learning, you're Don't you have the purpose, of course of being there and learning, but I still wasn't helping anyone. And that was kind of like my ultimate goal. And so I was just kind of in this last, that I just had a last feeling during that transition.


Amanda Huffman27:10

Yeah, that's something that veterans talk about a lot feeling lost, especially after leaving. So were you able to find your way? or How did you find your?


Marissa Rock27:20

Yeah, eventually I did, found my calling, it ended up being speech language pathology, and was able to luckily roll right into from a Bachelor's into a master's program at UNC. And once I kind of started going to clinical rotations and things like that, and being able to treat patients myself even as a graduate student clinician, I was starting to, you know, see that light at the end of the tunnel, and that purpose being brought back. So it was it was quite the long transition. I mean, the whole time I was a student like that whole four years, was still just me trying to navigate military life to student life to civilian life, and just combining all three of those and then finding another purpose and going to all these classes trying to get good grades, and it was stressful and everything but worth it for sure took some time. But I finally found my way.


Amanda Huffman28:24

Yeah, I think that when people talk about transition, like when you go through TAPS class, and they make it sound like it's a like that. I'm snapping but like a quick thing where you go from like being in the military to being a civilian, but Ben Coy he does the military, veteran dad talks about how like there's a transition of you joining the military and the process of like how the military changes you and the way that they like, instill different values into who you are. And so when you leave the military, it takes time to adjust to your new life and focus because the military has had such a big impact that you didn't even really realize what's happening because it happened, obviously over that first six weeks of boot camp. But it also happened over time, as long as you stayed in like four years isn't a long time, but it's definitely a big amount of time, especially at such a critical age. And so it took me like five years after I left the military before, when people would be like, Do you miss being in the military? I'd be like, no, like, I kind of wish I was still in and now it's been more than five years. And I'm like, No, I'm happy that I left the military. But for a long time I really struggled with if I should have left or if I made the right decision and what was I supposed to do now? 


Marissa Rock29:51

It's definitely I can't find the right word, but it's nerve wracking. You know, when you like you have this career already, you're trained to do something, and then you just kind of have to take a leap of faith, I guess, like when you get out and do that transition.


Amanda Huffman30:10

That's true. I like the way you talked about that, because it is a leap of faith. And I don't think what people, I think you think about like, oh, you're getting away from like, the structure and like the control of your life, but you're also jumping away from that, like safety net that the military has, where you get a paycheck, your medical is taken care of, you don't really have to think about what you're going to do. The military is going to tell you, so that, that's really good. 


Marissa Rock30:39

Exactly, I mean, it's, it's all spelled out for you in the military. People think I mean, I don't want to make a blanket statement. But I feel like most civilians think that military life is really hard. But it's, it's literally the easiest thing you can ever do. Because you you're told what to do. You don't have to do anything for yourself. You don't really have to think for yourself or manage your own time or anything like that. It's just it's spelled out for you.


Amanda Huffman31:05

Yeah, I think I mean, it takes a lot of sacrifice, and you have a lot of control. But someone I met in Bible study, her and her husband, were trying to figure out if they should take this job opportunity if they should move, and I was just like, it was so interesting to watch, because she was like, should we do this? Should we do that? And I was like, I don't even like have that process. It's like you're going here, done. And it's so different than like the struggle of like, actually deciding what are we going to do? Because they, they weren't in the military. So they had the control to make the decision. And then they had to live with whatever they decided. And so yeah, that makes a lot of sense.


Marissa Rock31:46

Yeah, the struggle, and the sacrifice is definitely challenging in the military. But as far as like what you do day to day, it's like, it's so simple, because it's just you, you're told.


Amanda Huffman31:58

Pretty much. That's so true. Yeah. So I have really enjoyed getting to hear your story and to talk about a really hard thing that's really important to bring up about military sexual trauma and how it not only affects the person who has it happened to them, but the people that are friends with them. And I want to end the interview with what advice would you give to young women who are considering joining the military?


Marissa Rock32:25

So I, I'd be lying if I said I would wholeheartedly recommend it, only because of you know what i, because I'm thinking of what I would say to a future daughter, you know, so I, I just want to be clear and say I believe women are fully capable of serving and are valuable to the military. But you know, they have to take some things into consideration that men don't necessarily have to, such as the prevalence of sexual assault that we talked about, which is powerfully conveyed in the documentary, The Invisible War. So if if you haven't seen that, I highly recommend watching it to anyone. I mean, it's just, it's just one of those films that you need to watch, even though it's painful to watch. And, you know, so if you, I would tell somebody thinking about joining the military, you know, if you watch that documentary, and you educate yourself about how everything works, you know, from culture to rank structure to benefits, career field options, two types of service, you know, like active duty versus reserves, and you know, all that, and you still have your heart set on joining, then absolutely go for it. Don't let anyone doubt you or your potential.


Amanda Huffman33:40

I think that's really great advice, because I think the military isn't for everyone. But I think when you join the military, a lot of people don't have good experiences, because they aren't educated on like, what the military is like. And even we were talking before the interview started. And I was talking about someone who wanted to do something, and I was like, you can't do that. And that person was in the military, and they were still getting bad advice. And so it's you have, there's so much research that you have to do to join the military. And it's not that recruiters don't do the right thing. But it's like the recruiters have a job to work for the military to get you in. And they also don't have time to do like to figure out what your passion is, they're just there to guide you in the right direction and they can't get as in the weeds with every single person as that you personally need to take that responsibility to figure it out and do that. And if you are considered rain joining the military, I have a free guide on my website called a girls guide to the military that will help get you started in luck what questions to ask yourself and how to make that transition into the military a little bit smoother. And I'm also have a YouTube channel. You know, we're answer questions about joining the military. So you can go check that out. So thank you so much for being on the show today. I'm really so glad that we got to do this interview. And thank you.


Marissa Rock35:11

Thank you, Amanda. Thanks for having me.


Amanda Huffman 35:18

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