Valkyrie Performance

Accountability Integrity Attitude

Project Educate and Inspire: Week 8

Andrea Writt

Welcome and thank you for stopping by! This is the next iteration of our series to honor and share the stories of empowered women, fulfilling roles as leaders in their country. The mission of this project is to inspire, educate, and connect women who are currently serving or considering serving in typically male dominated professions such as military, police, or fire service. Over ten weeks we will share the stories of ten amazing women who have served, or are currently serving our Nation, providing unique perspectives into the inspiring realities of these women's lives.

If you would like to contribute to our project and share your story through Valkyrie Performance, please email me at


Lance Corporal Marissa Robbins

CH-53 Engine Mechanic, United States Marine Corps

1. What do you appreciate the most about being a woman in a male dominated field?

Being in a male dominant field has made me tougher-it has made me want to push myself physically and mentally so that I can not only hold myself to the same standard, but so that I may also set a positive example to other females.

2. As a woman in a male dominated field, what challenges do you regularly face and how do you overcome those challenges?

Some challenges that I face include peers with the mindset of ‘she’s just a female, she can’t do _____’. Anytime I hear criticism such as that, I take it and use it as motivation to work even harder to better myself and prove that I can accomplish the task at hand.

3. What practices do you have, to re-center yourself when you’ve had a tough conversation or someone has given you an ungrounded assessment or unsolicited advice?

I take it with a grain of salt, and do my best to not let it ‘get me’- which isn’t always easy to do at times. I am adopting the mindset of ‘everyone has a voice and wants to be heard’ so more often than not I will listen to what they say, but I don’t take much of it to heart.

4. What are your top 3-5 priorities in life? How do you make time for the areas you value most?



•Making a difference by helping those who can’t help themselves

•Being a positive influence

It’s very easy to make time for these priorities-a few minutes every morning praying or reading scripture, a quick text or call to check up on someone, even just a smile and a simple compliment. I feel that my priorities are all things that can be continuously done throughout the day.

5. While serving, what has been your biggest personal victory? What about the best organizational/team victory and why?

My biggest personal victory while I have been in the Marine Corps has been finding my true self, a lot of positive self growth, and learning that it’s ok to speak up if something isn’t right, regardless of what others may think. The best team victory will always be getting our engines back up and running so we can keep birds in the air.  

6. Do you feel like you have found your “life’s purpose/calling” yet, or do you still feel like you are continuing to discover and unravel what unique gift/niche you bring to the world?

This is a combination of both.  I feel as if the events of the last 5 months have helped me realize what my purpose is, and I have been fortunate to have people come into my life since then that have confirmed that I am on the right track. The best is yet to come and I’m going to keep pushing myself until I’m the best version of me that I can possibly be, not only for myself but also for my friends/family, my job, and for others as an example of what a Marine and a good leader should be.

7. How do you combat negative self-talk, and pick yourself back up from failure? 

Everyone has bad days, that’s for certain. On days that I do start to develop a lot of negative self-talk, I just tell myself I have nothing to be discouraged about. Look at how far I’ve come, what I’ve accomplished, and what I’m training to accomplish. And as long as there is something to be learned, no matter how small it is, it isn’t failure; you’re simply learning what did or didn’t work and you will figure out a better approach to something.

8. If you could describe yourself in 3 words what would they be? If others described you in 3 words what would they be? Are they congruent with the way you think you are portraying yourself in the world?

Loyal, Dedicated, Respectful.

3 words others use to describe me: Tough, Smart, Relentless

I believe that these descriptions are congruent with the way I portray myself.

9. What changes would you like to see in the next 5 years for women in male-dominated environments?

I would like to see females be more comfortable and confident with trying to achieve the same goals as males. I would also like to see females be treated with the same respect and trust that they will be able to accomplish the same thing as a male.

10. What advice would give to your 19 year old self? Or to a young woman starting her journey of serving our Country?

I would tell my 19 year old self to BE CONFIDENT.  Go after that dream, that goal, and don’t let anyone sway your decision. Not everyone will understand what you want to do with your life, or why you want to do it and at the end of the day no one else has to live your life but you. I would tell myself to start training my body and mind to be indestructible to prepare myself for my future career. I would also tell a 19 year old me to take advantage of time spent with family, to read more, and focus on what’s really important in life.



Again, if you have questions or would like to share your story with Valkyrie, please contact me at