"From day one, I've always been treated equally," Seaman said. "It's always been that you're treated based on what you do, not your race or gender. The military is a true meritocracy in that way. I take it for granted now, but I wasn't expecting that at first. It's all in how you handle the situation … and very matter-of-factly deal with it and move on. The military is very good about getting that across. I know it's a model for society."
Through her years, Seaman has steadily moved up the ranks, having even served as the military aide to the commandant of the Marine Corps. "She's been chosen to do really great things because she is really great," Weinberg said.
Seaman said her long-term future in the Corps remains uncertain. "I'll stay in as long as I'm enjoying it and its been meaningful. I love it and the people I work with. I don't know how much longer I'm going to stay, but at least three more years."
However, Seaman is grateful for the years behind her.
"I got to see the world," she said, about her travels to Korea, Japan, Germany, Israel and Australia. "I work with some of the most true Americans who are very proud of what we do," Seaman said. "We will not let the Marine on our right or left down. We will not do it. That's what makes the military organization strong. We don't want to let a buddy down. That creates such a force that you can go very far with. You can do anything with that."
She said each tour has helped shape her into the respected leader she's become.
"It's been an incredible experience, I've worked my butt off. One of the best tours I ever had was 6 months and when we came back … I think I was the only female officer supporting (the unit) at that time."
"And that really formed me as a young officer. Since then, my mind has always been, 'Am I ready to go to combat right now? Are we ready to do what the nation needs us to do today? Is our marksmanship done, are we mentally prepared? Can we take our duties, pack them up immediately and get over there and get it done?' "
"We miss our families, friends and American life, but that's where we want to be. We move to the sound of the guns. We feel we're not doing our part when we're back in the U.S."
"We all love what we do, no question about that. We're proud of what we do. We're the lucky ones because we have a job now, and we talk about that a lot. We understand the rest of the country is struggling. We hope what we do will help things so we can turn things around in this country."
"We have a way of life in our country, and we're here to defend that."