Ihrke wasn’t just there for the ride, either. No, she climbed the ranks and succeeded in her posts. Initially, she had started out as an administrative specialist – a role that typically sees marines deal with correspondence and travel orders, make sure punishment books are up to date and distribute ID cards, among other tasks.
But Ihrke wouldn’t stay in this position for long. She spent years working her hardest to climb the ladder, and in time her effort was rewarded with a new rank: sergeant. Throughout it all, she also battled the stigma that came with being a female marine, although apparently this didn’t take away from the experience.
Ihrke told Military Times, “It’s hard [to be a female marine], no doubt, but I was able to see what I was capable of and I pushed myself to be my absolute best. Work hard, play hard!” That mentality affected other areas of Ihrke’s life, too – especially when she picked up a second job that put her on a path to a double life.