FORWARD OPERATING BASE ZEEBRUGEE, Afghanistan -- FORWARD OPERATING BASE ZEEBRUGEE, Afghanistan – Female Marines represent just six percent of the entire Marine Corps, and for one combat engineer from 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) that small ratio is a large reality.
Lance Cpl. Kimberly R. Burrows, a 22 year old from Albany, Ore., is currently at Forward Operating Base Zeebrugge, near the Kajaki Dam in Helmand province, Afghanistan, and she’s the only female Marine for miles.
Burrows, who joined the Marine Corps in April 2007, is not at all bothered by this fact. She is just glad to have the chance to help with the current mission: improving one of the most remote Marine FOB's in Afghanistan.
"It’s nice to do things for people who need it and will appreciate it," said Burrows. "These [India] Battery Marines need the work to be done for both their safety and comfort, and I’m glad to be helping out with that."
Engineers from 9th ESB arrived at FOB Zeebrugge March 2, tasked to enhance security and improve living conditions for the Marines of India Battery, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team-2, 1st Marine Division (Forwad), who currently own that battlespace.
According to Burrows leadership, she’s a valuable asset to the engineer team conducting the mission.
"She has a good work ethic," said Sgt. Martin D. Allen, a combat engineer from 9th ESB, who currently leads the projects on FOB Zeebrugge. "Burrows is very knowledgeable, and she has great initiative. She keeps busy, and she keeps great accountability of the tools."
It isn’t just her ability to stay focused and work hard that shines through; her personality makes an impression as well.
"Burrows gets along well with everyone else," said Allen, 26 from Middle Grove, N.Y. "She fits in well, and she is a great addition to our team."
As for being the only female around, Burrows looks at it quite simply: "You’ve got males and females, but we are all Marines, and we have a job to do. It’s about giving these Marines a safe place to sleep."