The Army's highest ranking female officer in Afghanistan won't forget her Idaho roots

Posted at 8:50 PM, Aug 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-07 22:56:30-04
Robin Fontes was recently promoted to Major General in the U.S. Army.
So why is that a big deal? For starters, Fontes assumes the highest position of any female service member in Afghanistan since the war began. More importantly to Idaho, she was raised right here in the Treasure Valley.
Fontes, from Kuna, Idaho became Major General taking over command of the Combined Security Transition Command. 
But this story starts at a young age, when Fontes realized where her path would take her.
"I knew at the age of twelve, I wanted to join the military. My father was a Marine and he remembered his time in the Marine Corps very fondly. I have an uncle who was a career officer and my grandfather was in the Army," said Fontes.
Fontes, a West Point graduate, went on to spend 12 years in the region.
The commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan had high words of praise for Fontes which was not a surprise to her friends and family back home.
"I think they're proud," said Fontes. "I'm humbled by the support from my family. They've always stuck by me, and it's nice to have that support system and also from all the friends I have back in Idaho."
What about security and safety issues in Afghanistan?
Fontes was quick to answer the question about the success stories we haven't heard about.
"Well, I think you have to take it from the very beginning. I was fortunate to be here in 1998, and from there, I looked over the border and you couldn't see anything, and people were on donkeys. Now it's a vibrant economy, and people are out on the streets," said Fontes.
Electric power is on the rise, and infant mortality is falling.
So when it's time to pass the torch, Fontes has no problem doing an about face and heading home.
"When I retire, I'm definitely coming home to Idaho. That's where my family is, my mom's in Boise and I have some land up in Lowman and I'll be spending a lot of time there," said Fontes.