Women in the United States Navy

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Admiral Michelle J. Howard, the first female four-star admiral in the U.S. Navy.[1] She is also the armed forces' first African-American woman to achieve four-stars.[2]

Women have served in the United States Navy for over a century. Today, there are over 52,391 women serving on active duty in an array of traditional (administrative, medical, etc.) and non-traditional (aviation, combat systems, etc.) ratings or careers. Like their male counterparts, female sailors are expected to adhere to regulations specific to appearance, grooming, and health and fitness; however some differences exist for example in physical fitness tests due to performance and in relation to pregnancy and parenting provisions created to help support military families.


Pre–World War I[edit]

Women worked as nurses for the Navy as early as the American Civil War. The United States Navy Nurse Corps was officially established in 1908; it was all-female until 1965.[3][4]

World War I[edit]

The increased size of the United States Navy in support of World War I increased the need for clerical and administrative support. The U.S. Naval Reserve Act of 1916 permitted the enlistment of qualified "persons" for service; Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels asked, "Is there any law that says a Yeoman must be a man?" and was told there was not.[5] Thus, the Navy was able to induct its first female sailors into the U.S. Naval Reserve. The first woman to enlist in the U.S. Navy was Loretta Perfectus Walsh on 17 March 1917.[6] Women served around the continental U.S. and in France, Guam and Hawaii, mostly as yeomen, but also as radio operators, electricians, draftsmen, pharmacists, photographers, telegraphers, fingerprint experts, chemists, torpedo assemblers and camouflage designers. The women were all released from active duty after the end of the war. See Yeoman (F).

World War II[edit]

Main article: WAVES

World War II again brought the need for additional personnel. This time the Navy organized to recruit women into a separate women's auxiliary, labeled Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service (WAVES). WAVES served in varied positions around the continental U.S. and in Hawaii. See WAVES.

Two groups of Navy nurses were held prisoner by the Japanese in World War II. Chief Nurse Marion Olds and nurses Leona Jackson, Lorraine Christiansen, Virginia Fogerty and Doris Yetter were taken prisoner on Guam shortly after Pearl Harbor and transported to Japan. They were repatriated in August 1942, although the newspaper did not identify them as Navy nurses. Chief Nurse Laura Cobb and her nurses, Mary Chapman, Bertha Evans, Helen Gorzelanski, Mary Harrington, Margaret Nash, Goldie O'Haver, Eldene Paige, Susie Pitcher, Dorothy Still and C. Edwina Todd (some of the "Angels of Bataan") were captured in 1942 and imprisoned in the Los Baños internment camp, where they continued to function as a nursing unit, until they were rescued by American forces in 1945. Other Los Baños prisoners later said: "We are absolutely certain that had it not been for these nurses many of us who are alive and well would have died."[7] The nurses were awarded the Bronze Star Medal by the Army, a second award by the Navy and the Army's Distinguished Unit Badge. Ann Agnes Bernatitus, one of the Angels of Bataan, nearly became a POW; she was one of the last to escape Corregidor Island, via the USS Spearfish. Upon her return to the United States she became the first American to receive the Legion of Merit.

WAVES Recruiting poster
WAVES Recruiting poster
WAVES Recruiting poster
WAVES Recruiting posters

Korean War era[edit]

Women in the Naval Reserve were recalled along with their male counterparts for duty during the Korean War.

Vietnam War era[edit]

Nurses served aboard the hospital ship USS SANCTUARY. Nine non-nurse Navy women served in country; however no enlisted Navy women were authorized.

Women in the Navy since 1972[edit]

U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Robin Braun, Commander, Navy Recruiting Command.

Major changes occurred for Navy women in the 1970s. CAPT Alene B. Duerk, NC, Director of the Navy Nurse Corps since 1968, was spot promoted to Flag rank in 1972, the first female naval officer to be appointed to flag rank. She was followed in 1976 by RADM Fran McKee as the first female unrestricted line officer appointed to flag rank. During this time, women began to enter the surface warfare and aviation fields, gained access to officer accession programs previously open only to men, and women started to screen for command opportunities ashore.[8]

Officer Accession Programs[edit]

The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) was opened to women in 1972 and the first woman was commissioned from a ROTC program in 1974. The Women Officer School (WOS), Newport, RI, was disestablished in 1973, and Officer Candidate School (OCS) training was integrated to support men and women. The United States Naval Academy, along with the other military academies, first accepted women in 1976 and commissioned its first female graduates in 1980. Women also began attending Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS) in 1976.[8]

Surface warfare[edit]

In 1972 the pilot program for assignment of officers and enlisted women to ships was initiated onboard USS SANCTUARY (AH-17). In 1978 Congress approved a change to Title 10 USC Section 6015 to permit the Navy to assign women to fill sea duty billets on support and noncombatant ships. The Surface Warfare community opened to women. In 1979, the first woman obtained her Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) qualification.[8]


In 1973 the Secretary of the Navy announced the authorization of naval aviation training for women. LTJG Judith Neuffer was the first woman selected for flight training. In 1974, the Navy became the first service to graduate a woman pilot, LT Barbara Allen Rainey, followed closely by classmates Judith Neuffer, Ana Marie Fuqua, Rosemary Bryant Mariner, Jane Skiles O'Dea and Joellen Drag.[8]

In 1979 the Naval Flight Officer (NFO) program opened to women. In 1979, LT Lynn Spruill became the first woman Naval aviator to obtain carrier qualification.


On 29 April 2010, the Department of the Navy announced authorization of a policy change allowing women to begin serving onboard Navy submarines.[9][10] The new policy and plan was set to begin with the integration of female Officers. A group of up to 24 female Officers (three Officers on each of eight different crews)[10] were scheduled to enter the standard nuclear submarine training pipeline in July 2010[11] – and expected to report to submarine duty by late 2011 or early 2012.[10] Integration of Enlisted females into submarine crews was expected to begin soon thereafter.[11][12]

Initial candidates for female Submarine Officer positions were highly qualified selects from accession sources that include the Naval Academy, Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps, STA-21 program and Officer Candidate School, with transfers possible for those from other Unrestricted Line Officer communities.[11] A group of up to eight female Supply Corps Officers was also expected to complete requisite training and begin submarine service in the same time frame.[10][11]

Initial assignments for female submariners were on the blue and gold crews of selected guided-missile submarines (SSGNs) and ballistic-missile submarines (SSBNs). Two submarines of each type served as the inaugural vessels.[10][11]

The first group of U.S. female submariners completed nuclear power school and officially reported on board two ballistic and two guided missile submarines in November 2011.[13]

In 2012, it was announced that 2013 would be the first year women will serve on U.S. attack submarines.[14]

On 22 June 2012, a Sailor assigned to USS Ohio (SSGN 726) became the first female supply officer to qualify in U.S. submarines. Lt. Britta Christianson of Ohio's Gold Crew received her Submarine Supply Corps "dolphins" from the Gold Crew Commanding Officer Capt. Rodney Mills during a brief ceremony at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF).[15]

On 5 December 2012, three Sailors assigned to USS Maine (SSBN 741) and USS Wyoming (SSBN 742) became the first female unrestricted line officers to qualify in U.S. submarines.[16] Lt. j.g. Marquette Leveque, a native of Fort Collins, Colo., assigned to the Gold Crew of Wyoming, and Lt. j.g. Amber Cowan and Lt. j.g. Jennifer Noonan [ROTC Cornell University], a native of Scituate MA, both of Maine's Blue Crew received their submarine "dolphins" during separate ceremonies at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., and Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Wash.[16]

In 2013, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said that the first women to join Virginia-class attack subs had been chosen: They were newly commissioned female officers scheduled to report to their subs in fiscal year 2015.[17]

Timeline of women in the United States Navy[edit]

Year Event
1908 The Navy Nurse Corps was established; it was all-female until 1965.[3][4]
1917 Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels announced that the Navy would enlist women on 17 March.[18]
1917 Loretta Perfectus Walsh became the first woman to enlist in the Navy on 17 March.[6]
1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Public Law 689 creating the Navy’s women reserve program on 30 July 1942.[18]
1942 Lieutenant Commander Mildred H. McAfee, USNR, Director of the WAVES, became the Navy’s first female Line Officer.[18]
1944 Lieutenant Harriet Ida Pickens and Ensign Frances Wills were commissioned as the first African-American female Navy officers.[18]
1944 Sue Dauser, the Director of the Navy Nurse Corps, became the first female Captain in the Navy.[19]
1948 On 15 October 1948, the first eight women were commissioned in the regular Navy: Joy Bright Hancock, Winifred Quick Collins, Ann King, Frances Willoughby, Ellen Ford, Doris Cranmore, Doris Defenderfer, and Betty Rae Tennant took their oaths as naval officers.[20]
1959 Yeoman Anna Der-Vartanian was the first woman in the Navy promoted to Master Chief Petty Officer, and the first woman in the Armed Services promoted to E-9.[21]
1961 Lieutenant Charlene I. Suneson became the first line WAVES officer to be ordered to shipboard duty.[22]
1967 Public Law 90-130 was signed into law; it removed legal ceilings on women's promotions that had kept them out of the general and flag ranks, and dropped the two percent ceiling on officer and enlisted strengths for women in the armed forces.[23]
1972 The first promotion of a woman in the Navy to flag rank occurred in 1972 for Alene Duerk.[24]
1974 Lieutenant Junior Grade Barbara Ann (Allen) Rainey became the first Navy woman to earn her wings on 22 February 1974.[25]
1974 The first women were commissioned through NROTC.[26]
1976 Fran McKee became the Navy's first female unrestricted line flag officer.[27]
1976 Alene Duerk, Director of the Navy Nurse Corps, became the first woman appointed to the rank of Rear Admiral in the Navy making her position a flag billet in 1972.[25]
1978 Navy Nurse Joan C. Bynum became the first black woman promoted to the rank of Captain.[25]
1978 Women were authorized to serve on tenders, oilers, and other types of auxiliary ships in the Navy.[25]
1979 Lieutenant Lynn Spruill became the first female Navy pilot qualified to land on aircraft carriers.[28]
1979 The first woman in the Navy to qualify as a Surface Warfare Officer did so this year.[29]
1980 The first women graduated from the Naval Academy. There were 81 women in the class of 1980 at the Naval Academy, and 55 of them graduated. Elizabeth Belzer was the first female graduate and Janie L. Mines was the first black female graduate.[25]
1984 Kristine Holderied became the first female valedictorian of the Naval Academy.[30]
1990 Rear Admiral Marsha J. Evans became the first woman to command a Naval Station.[31]
1990 Lieutenant Commander Darlene Iskra became the first Navy woman to command a ship, USS Opportune (ARS-41).[32]
1991 The Tailhook scandal occurred, in which Navy (and Marine Corps) aviators were accused of sexually assaulting 83 women (and 7 men) at the Tailhook convention in Las Vegas.[33]
1996 Patricia Tracey became the first female three star officer (Vice Admiral) in the Navy.[34]
1998 CDR Maureen A. Farren became the first woman to command a combatant ship in the Navy.[31]
1998 Lillian Fishburne became the first African-American woman promoted to flag rank in the Navy.[31]
2010 Nora Tyson became the first woman to command a carrier strike group in the Navy.[35]
2011 The first group of female submariners in the Navy completed nuclear power school and officially reported on board two ballistic and two guided missile submarines in November 2011.[13]
2012 Commander Monika Washington Stoker became the first African American woman to take command of a Navy missile destroyer.[36]
2012 Five "Tigertails" of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron One Two Five (VAW-125), embarked aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as part of Carrier Air Wing Seventeen (CVW-17), flew an historic flight on 25 January when they participated in the Navy's first all-female E-2C Hawkeye combat mission.[37]
2012 On 22 June 2012, a Sailor assigned to USS Ohio (SSGN 726) became the first female supply officer to qualify in submarines in the Navy. Lt. Britta Christianson of Ohio's Gold Crew received her Submarine Supply Corps "dolphins" from the Gold Crew Commanding Officer Capt. Rodney Mills during a brief ceremony at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF).[15]
2012 On 5 December 2012, three Sailors assigned to USS Maine (SSBN 741) and USS Wyoming (SSBN 742) became the first female unrestricted line officers to qualify in submarines in the Navy.[16] LTJG Marquette Leveque, a native of Fort Collins, Colo., assigned to the Gold Crew of Wyoming, and LTJG Amber Cowan and LTJG Jennifer Noonan [ROTC Cornell University], a native of Scituate MA, both of Maine's Blue Crew received their submarine "dolphins" during separate ceremonies at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., and Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Wash.[16]
2012 Robin Braun became the first female commander of the Navy Reserve, making her the first woman to lead any Reserve component of the military.[38]
2014 Michelle J. Howard became the first female four-star admiral in the Navy.[1]
2014 In July 2014, Marine Corps Captain Katie Higgins became the first female pilot to join the Blue Angels, the Navy's flight demonstration squadron. She piloted the team's KC-130 Hercules support aircraft, "Fat Albert."[39]
2015 Nora Tyson was installed as the commander of the Navy’s Third Fleet, making her the first woman to lead a Navy ship fleet.[40][41]
2015 Cheryl Hansen became the first female commander of the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Mississippi.[42]


In the Navy, women are currently eligible to serve in all ratings. In 2013 Leon Panetta removed the U.S. military's ban on women serving in combat, overturning a 1994 rule prohibiting women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units. Panetta's decision gave the U.S. military services until January 2016 to seek special exceptions if they believed any positions must remain closed to women. The services had until May 2013 to draw up a plan for opening all units to women and until the end of 2015 to actually implement it.[43][44]

The former policy set by Congress and the Secretary of Defense, effective 1 October 1994, excluded women from direct ground combat billets in the military, stating:

"Service members who are eligible to be assigned to all positions for which they are qualified, except that women shall be excluded from assignment to units below the brigade level whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground as defined below. "Direct ground combat is engaging an enemy on the ground with individual or crew-served weapons, while being exposed to hostile fire and to a high probability of direct physical contact with the hostile force's personnel. Direct combat take place well forward on the battlefield while locating and closing with the enemy to defeat them by fire, maneuver, or shock effect." However, qualified and motivated women are encouraged to investigate the diver and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) fields."
Aviation Ordnanceman loading a missile
Quartermaster Seaman Apprentice
Boatswain's Mate
Sonar Technician
Careers in the Navy


  • A certified maternity uniform is mandatory for all pregnant servicewomen in the Navy when the regular uniform no longer fits.

Grooming Standards[edit]

  • Hair: The Navy deems that hairstyles shall not be "outrageously multicolored" or "faddish," to include shaved portions of the scalp (other than the neckline), or have designs cut or braided into the hair. Hair coloring must look natural and complement the individual. Haircuts and styles shall present a balanced appearance. Lopsided and extremely asymmetrical styles are not authorized. Ponytails, pigtails, widely spaced individual hanging locks, and braids that protrude from the head, are not authorized. Multiple braids are authorized. Braided hairstyles shall be conservative and conform to the guidelines listed herein. When a hairstyle of multiple braids is worn, braids shall be of uniform dimension, small in diameter (approx. 1/4 inch), and tightly interwoven to present a neat, professional, well-groomed appearance. Foreign material (i.e., beads, decorative items) shall not be braided into the hair. Short hair may be braided in symmetrical fore and aft rows (cornrowing) that minimize scalp exposure. Cornrow ends shall not protrude from the head, and shall be secured only with inconspicuous rubber bands that match the color of the hair. Appropriateness of a hairstyle shall also be judged by its appearance when headgear is worn. All headgear shall fit snugly and comfortably around the largest part of the head without distortion or excessive gaps. Hair shall not show from under the front of the brim of the combination hat, garrison, or command ball caps. Hairstyles which do not allow headgear to be worn in this manner, or which interfere with the proper wear of protective masks or equipment are prohibited. When in uniform, the hair may touch, but not fall below a horizontal line level with the lower edge of the back of the collar.
  • Cosmetics: The Navy prefers that cosmetics be applied in good taste so that colors blend with natural skin tone and enhance natural features. Exaggerated or faddish cosmetic styles are not authorized and shall not be worn. Care should be taken to avoid artificial appearance. Lipstick colors shall be conservative and complement the individual. Long false eyelashes shall not be worn when in uniform.
  • Tattoos: Navy policy stipulates that any tattoo/body art/brand that is obscene, sexually explicit or advocates discrimination of any sort is prohibited. No tattoos/body art/brands on the head, face, neck, or scalp and individual tattoos/body art/brands exposed by wearing a short sleeve uniform shirt shall be no larger in size than the wearer’s hand with fingers extended and joined with the thumb touching the base of the index finger.
  • Jewelry: Conservative jewelry is authorized for all personnel and shall be in good taste while in uniform. Eccentricities or faddishness are not permitted. Jewelry shall not present a safety or FOD (Foreign object damage) hazard. Jewelry shall be worn within the following guidelines
  • Earrings: Earrings for women are an optional item, and are not required for wear. When worn the earring shall be a 4-6mm ball (gold for officers/CPOs, and silver for E-6 and below), plain with brushed, matte finish, screw-on or post type. Pearl earrings may be worn with Dinner Dress or Formal uniforms.
  • Rings: While in uniform, only one (1) ring per hand is authorized, plus a wedding/engagement ring set. Rings are not authorized for wear on thumbs.
  • Necklaces: While in uniform, only one (1) necklace may be worn and it shall not be visible.
  • Bracelets: While in uniform, only one (1) of each may be worn. Ankle bracelets are not authorized while in uniform.
  • Fingernails: Fingernails for women shall not exceed 1/4 inch beyond the end of the finger. They shall be kept clean. Nail polish may be worn, but colors shall be conservative and complement the skin tone.

Health & Fitness Standards[edit]

The Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) is conducted twice a year for all sailors, which includes:

  • Body Composition Assessment (BCA). Body composition is assessed by:
  • An initial weight and height screening
  • A Navy-approved circumference technique to estimate body fat percentage

Physical Readiness Test (PRT) include different standards for male and female sailors. PRT is a series of physical activities designed to evaluate factors that enable members to perform physically. Factors evaluated are:

  • Muscular strength and endurance via:
  1. Curl-ups
  2. Push-ups
  • Aerobic capacity via:
  1. 1.5-mile run/walk, or
  2. 500-yard or 450-meter swim

PT Fitness Standards (NSW/NSO programs only):

  • The PST consists of five (5) events:
  1. 500-yard swim (using sidestroke or breaststroke)
  2. Push-Ups (as many as possible in 2-minutes)
  3. Sit-Ups (as many as possible in 2-minutes)
  4. Pull-Ups (as many as possible, no time limit)
  5. 1 ½ mile run

Navy Family Life[edit]


Spouse co-location assignments are fully supported by the Chief of Naval Personnel and when requested become the highest priority and main duty preference consistent with the needs of the Navy. While not always possible, every effort, within reason, will be made for military couples and family members to move & serve together. Co-op assignments are not guaranteed.

The service member requesting transfer to join with his/her spouse or family member must have a minimum of one year on board his/her present command at the time of transfer.

Military couples may not be permanently assigned to the same ship or the same shipboard deployable command. For shore assignments, the couple will not assign to the same reporting senior without the gaining CO’s approval. Unusual circumstances may require a couple being temporarily assigned to the same afloat activity, which is allowable at the CO’s discretion.[45]

Pregnancy & Parenting Resources[edit]

  • Pregnant servicewomen may remain onboard up to their 20th week of pregnancy.
  • An extension of up to one year may be granted in order to receive maternity benefits, provided the member’s performance has been satisfactory and first term Sailors have PTS approval.
  • No later than 6 months after being returned to full duty by a HCP, the servicewoman is required to take the PFA and conform to acceptable height/weight standards.
  • No servicewomen may be assigned overseas or travel overseas after the completion of the 28th week of pregnancy.
  • The New Parent Support Home Visitation Program (NPSHVP) is a team of professionals providing supportive and caring services to military families with new babies. Navy families and other military families expecting a child or with children up to three years of age are assessed to determine if they need help managing the demands of a new baby. In the program, new Moms and Dads can be referred to community new baby programs and are eligible to participate in a voluntary home visitation program, free of charge. The New Parent Support Home Visitation Program was developed to assist military families in ways that friends and family would do if you were back home. This program offers expectant parents and parents of newborn and young children the opportunity to learn new skills as parents and to improve existing parenting skills, in the privacy of their own home.[46]



In her 1995 book, Jean Zimmerman reported that there was a perception in the Navy that women sailors use pregnancy to escape or avoid deployed ship duty. In an example cited by Zimmerman, in 1993 as the USS Cape Cod prepared to depart on a deployment cruise, 25 female sailors, out of a crew of 1,500, reported being pregnant shortly before the scheduled departure and were reassigned to shore duty. Although Zimmerman felt that the number of pregnancies was small and should not be regarded as significant, the senior enlisted person on the ship, Command Master Chief Alice Smith rejoined, "Just about every division has been decimated by the number of pregnancies. Now tell me that's not going to hurt a ship."[47] A 1997 study by the Navy Personnel Research and Development Center found that female sailors assigned to ships experienced higher pregnancy and abortion rates than shore-based female sailors.[48]

A Navy policy change in June 2007 extended post-partum tours of duty ashore from 4 months to 12 months. A Virginia Pilot article in October 2007 reported on the Navy's policy decision as a means to improve long term retention of trained personnel. The chief of women's policy for the chief of personnel noted that far more men than women fail to deploy or are sent back from deployment, "because of sports injuries, discipline issues or testing positive for drugs."[49]

In 2009, Andrew Tilghman reported in the Military Times on a Naval Inspector General (IG) report noting that, in the wake of this change, Navy shore commands based in Norfolk reported that 34% of their assigned members were pregnant sailors reassigned from ship duty. Since shore-based assignments for pregnant sailors were extended in 2007, the number of Navy women leaving deploying units to have children rose from 1,770 in June 2006 to 3,125 as of 1 August 2009. Tilghman further reports that Navy Personnel Command is reviewing the report.[50]

Sexual orientation[edit]

Before the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy was enacted in 1993, lesbians and bisexual women (and gay men and bisexual men) were banned from serving in the military.[51] In 1993 the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy was enacted, which mandated that the military could not ask servicemembers about their sexual orientation.[52][53] However, until the policy was ended in 2011 service members were still expelled from the military if they engaged in sexual conduct with a member of the same sex, stated that they were lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and/or married or attempted to marry someone of the same sex.[54]

Women on submarines[edit]

In July 1994, policy changes were made expanding the number of assignments available to women in the Navy. At this time, repeal of the combat exclusion law gave women the opportunity to serve on surface combatant ships but still excluded assignments for women to serve onboard submarines.[9][10] Previously there had been concern about bringing women onto submarines because living quarters offered little privacy and weren’t considered suitable for mixed gender habitation.[55]

In October 2009, the Secretary of the Navy announced that he and the Chief of Naval Operations were moving aggressively to change the policy.[12] Reasons included the fact that larger SSGN and SSBN submarines now in the Fleet had more available space and could accommodate female Officers with little or no modification. Also, the availability of qualified female candidates with the desire to serve in this capacity was cited. It was noted that women now represented 15% of the Active Duty Navy[12] and that women today earn about half of all science and engineering bachelor’s degrees. A policy change was deemed to serve the aspirations of women, the mission of the Navy and the strength of its submarine force.[9][12]

In February 2010, the Secretary of Defense approved the proposed policy and signed letters formally notifying Congress of the intended change. After receiving no objection, the Department of the Navy officially announced on 29 April 2010, that it had authorized women to serve onboard submarines moving forward.[10]

The first group of U.S. female submariners completed nuclear power school and officially reported on board two ballistic and two guided missile submarines in November 2011.[13]


The first promotion of a woman in the United States Navy to flag rank occurred in 1972 for Alene Duerk.[24]

Name Commission Position Community RDML RADM VADM ADM Retired Notes
1 Howard, Michelle J.Michelle J. Howard 1982 (USNA) Vice Chief of Naval Operations Surface Warfare 2006   2010   2012   2014     Currently on active duty.
2 Tracey, Patricia A.Patricia A. Tracey 1970 Director, Navy Staff, N09B, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations URL  ?    ?   1996     2004   First woman to earn third star in the US Navy.
3 Rondeau, Ann E.Ann E. Rondeau 1974 (OCS) President, National Defense University Fleet Support 1999   2002   2005     2012   Retired.
4 Brown, Nancy ElizabethNancy Elizabeth Brown 1974 (OCS) Director for C4 Systems (J6) URL 2000   2003   2006     2009   Retired.
5 Pottenger, Carol M.Carol M. Pottenger 1977 (ROTC) Deputy Chief of Staff for Capability and Development, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation Surface Warfare 2003   2007   2010     2013   Retired.
6 DeRenzi, Nanette M.Nanette M. DeRenzi 1984 (ROTC) Judge Advocate General of the Navy JAG 2009  [56] 2009   2012       Currently on active duty.
7 Braun, RobinRobin Braun 1980 Chief of Navy Reserve/Commander, Navy Reserve Force Reserve, Naval Aviator 2007   2011   2012       Currently serving. 1st female commander of the Navy Reserve.
8 Tyson, Nora W.Nora W. Tyson 1979 (OCS) Deputy Commander, U. S. Fleet Forces Command Naval Flight Officer 2007   2011   2013       First woman to command a carrier strike group.
9 Tighe, JanJan Tighe 1984 (USNA) Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, Commander U. S. 10th Fleet IDW/Crypto 2010   2013   2014       First female IDW flag officer. First woman to command a numbered fleet.
10 McKee, FranFran McKee 1950 Assistant Chief of Naval Personnel for Human Resource Management URL 1976   1978       1981   First woman line officer promoted to flag rank in the United States Navy. Second woman promoted to flag rank in the United States Navy
11 Hazard, Roberta L.Roberta L. Hazard 1960 Assistant Chief of Naval Personnel, Personnel Readiness and Community Support 1989–1992 URL 1984   1989       1992   First woman to command a Navy training command (NTC San Diego 1982).
12 Evans, Marsha J.Marsha J. Evans 1967 Superintendent of the Naval Postgraduate School 1995–1998 Fleet Support 1992   1996       1998   Retired.
13 Engel, Joan MarieJoan Marie Engel 1969 18th Director, Navy Nurse Corps 1994–1998 SHCE (Nurse Corps) 1994   1997       2000   18th Director, Navy Nurse Corps.
14 McGann, Barbara E.Barbara E. McGann 1970 (OCS) Provost, Naval War College 2000–2002 URL 1994   1998       2002   Notes.
15 Froman, VeronicaVeronica Froman 1970 Director, Ashore Readiness, Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.c. 2000 – 2001 Fleet Support 1995   1999       2001   First woman commander of Navy Region Southwest (aka "Navy Mayor of San Diego"), 1997–2000.
16 Potter, Bonnie BurnhamBonnie Burnham Potter 1975 (OIS) Fleet Surgeon, U.S. Atlantic Fleet 1999– Medical Corps 1997   2000       2003   First female physician to become a flag officer in the military.
17 Paige, KathleenKathleen Paige 1971 Program Director, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense 2003–2005 Engineering Duty Officer 1996   2001       2005   Retired.
18 Harmeyer, Karen A.Karen A. Harmeyer 1975 Chief of Staff, Chief of Naval Operations, N093R, Washington, D.C. SHCE (Nurse Corps) 1997   2001       2002   Retired. 1st female two-star in the Reserves.
19 Martin, Kathleen L.Kathleen L. Martin 1973 (OIS) Deputy Surgeon General of the Navy/ Vice Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery 2002–2005 SHCE (Nurse Corps) 1998   2001       2005   19th Director of the Navy Nurse Corps from August 1998 to August 2001. First Nurse Corps officer to be assigned to the position of Deputy Surgeon General of the Navy.
20 Brown, Annette E.Annette E. Brown 1974 (OCS) Commander, Navy Region Southeast (2002) Fleet Support 1999   2002      2005   Retired.
21 Bird, Linda J.Linda J. Bird 1974 (OCS) Director, Supply, Ordnance and Logistics Operations Division, N41 2003–2005 Supply Corps 1999   2002?       2005   Retired.
22 Morris, Elizabeth M.Elizabeth M. Morris 1973 (OIS) Deputy Chief for Reserve Affairs at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery 2005–2006? SHCE (Nurse Corps) 2001   2004       2006   Retired.
23 Lescavage, Nancy J.Nancy J. Lescavage 1972 (OIS) Senior Health Care Executive Regional Director, TRICARE Regional Office – West SHCE (Nurse Corps) 2003   2004         Retired.20th Director of the Navy Nurse Corps.
24 Crisp, Donna L.Donna L. Crisp 1974 (OCS) Commander, Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command URL 2001   2005         Retired.
25 Gilbride, Ann D.Ann D. Gilbride 1978 (OCS) Director, National Maritime Intelligence Center Reserve 2003   2006        ?   Retired.
26 Redpath, Sharon H.Sharon H. Redpath 1976 (ROTC) Vice Commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, Commander, Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group Reserve 2003   2006       2009   Retired
27 Hight, Elizabeth A.Elizabeth A. Hight 1977 (OCS) Vice Director, Defense Information Systems Agency URL 2003   2006        ?   Retired. First woman to Command the JTF-GNO, after serving as its Deputy Commander. First woman Vice Director at DISA.
28 Bruzek-Kohler, ChristineChristine Bruzek-Kohler 1974 Commander, Navy Medicine West, Naval Medical Center San Diego Nurse Corps 2004   2009       2010   Retired. 21st Director of the Navy Nurse Corps.
29 Hunter, Christine S.Christine S. Hunter 1980 deputy director, TRICARE Management Activity Medical 2004   2009         Retired.
30 Carpenter, Wendi B.Wendi B. Carpenter 1977 (AOCS) Commander, Navy Warfare Development Command, Norfolk Reserve 2004   2008       2011   Retired. First female naval aviator promoted to Flag rank.
31 Flaherty, KarenKaren Flaherty 1973 (OIS) Deputy Surgeon General of Navy Medicine Nurse Corps 2003   2008         Retired. 22nd Director of the Navy Nurse Corps.
32 Flanders, Moira N.Moira N. Flanders 1978 (OCS) Director, Inter-American Defense College URL 2005   2007         Retired.
33 Dussault, Kathleen M.Kathleen M. Dussault 1979 (OCS) Director, Supply, Ordnance and Logistics Operations Division (OPNAV N41) Supply Corps 2006   2009         Retired.
34 Hamby, Janice M.Janice M. Hamby 1980 (ROTC) Vice Director for C4 Systems (J6) URL, then Information Professional[57] 2006   2009       2012   Retired.
35 Niemyer, Elizabeth S.Elizabeth S. Niemyer 1981 Director, Navy Nurse Corps Nurse Corps 2008   2010         Retired. 23rd Director of the Navy Nurse Corps
36 Wolfe, Patricia E.Patricia E. Wolfe 1981 (ROTC) Commander, Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group (NAVELSG) Reserve, Supply Corps 2007   2010         Retired.
37 Covell, Cynthia A.Cynthia A. Covell 1980 (OCS) Director, Total Force Requirements Division (OPNAV N12) Navy Human Resources Officer 2008   2011         Retired.
38 Klein, Margaret D.Margaret D. Klein 1981 (USNA) SENIOR ADVISOR TO THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR MILITARY PROFESSIONALISM Naval Flight Officer 2008   2011         82nd Commandant of Midshipmen, USNA – first woman.
39 Daniels, Sandy L.Sandy L. Daniels 1980 (USNA) SENIOR ADVISOR FOR SPACE TO THE DEPUTY CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS FOR INFORMATION DOMINANCE (OPNAV N2/N6) Reserve 2007   2012         Currently serving.
40 Gregory, Katherine L.Katherine L. Gregory 1982 (USNA) COMMANDER, NAVAL FACILITIES ENGINEERING COMMAND, CHIEF OF CIVIL ENGINEERS CEC 2010   2012         First female CEC admiral.
41 Train, Elizabeth L.Elizabeth L. Train 1983 (OCS) DIRECTOR, NATIONAL MARITIME INTELLIGENCE-INTEGRATION OFFICE, COMMANDER, OFFICE OF NAVAL INTELLIGENCE Intelligence 2009   2012         Currently on active duty.
42 Brown, Paula C.Paula C. Brown 1982 DEPUTY COMMANDER, NAVAL FACILITIES ENGINEERING COMMAND, DEPUTY CHIEF OF CIVIL ENGINEERS CEC 2010   2013         Currently on active duty.
43 Wagner, Elaine C.Elaine C. Wagner 1984 DEPUTY CHIEF, BUREAU OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY, WOUNDED, ILL AND INJURED Dental Corps 2010   2013         Currently on active duty. Chief of the Naval Dental Corps, 2010 – present.
45 Donovan, Janet R.Janet R. Donovan 1983 RESERVE DEPUTY JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL JAG 2012   2014         Currently serving.
46 Herb, Martha E. G.Martha E. G. Herb 1979 (OCS) RESERVE DEPUTY COMMANDER, NAVAL INSTALLATIONS COMMAND Reserve 2010   2014         currently serving.
47 Huegel, Valerie K.Valerie K. Huegel 1980 (OCS) COMMANDER, NAVY EXPEDITIONARY LOGISTICS SUPPORT GROUP Supply Corps 2011   2014         Currently on active duty.
48 McCormick-Boyle, Rebecca J.Rebecca J. McCormick-Boyle 1981 Chief of Staff, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Nurse Corps 2011   2014         Currently on active duty.
49 Kibben, Margaret G.Margaret G. Kibben 1986 (OIS) Chaplain of the United States Marine Corps, deputy chief of Navy Chaplains Chaplain Corps 2010   2014         18th Chaplain of the USMC, first female chaplain at USNA.
50 Duerk, Alene B.Alene B. Duerk 1943 Director Navy Nurse Corps 1970–1975 Nurse Corps 1972         1975   First woman promoted to flag rank in the United States Navy. Director Navy Nurse Corps 1970–1975.
51 Conder, MaxineMaxine Conder 1951 Director, Navy Nurse Corps 1975–1979 Nurse Corps 1975         1979?   Director, Navy Nurse Corps.
52 Shea-Buckley, FrancesFrances Shea-Buckley 1951 14th Director, Navy Nurse Corps 1979–1983 Nurse Corps 1979         1983   14th Director, Navy Nurse Corps.
53 Hartington, PaulinePauline Hartington 1953 Commander, Naval Training Center Orlando URL 1981         1983?   Second woman line officer selected for flag rank.
54 Hopper, GraceGrace Hopper 1944 Head, Training and Technology Directorate/Special Advisor to the Commander, Naval Data Automation Command URL? 1983         1986   Co-inventor of COBOL. Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) named for RADM Hopper.
55 Nielubowicz, Mary JoanMary Joan Nielubowicz 1951 15th Director, Navy Nurse Corps 1983–1987 Nurse Corps 1983         1987   Retired. 15th Director, Navy Nurse Corps.
56 Hall, Mary F.Mary F. Hall 1959 16th Director, Navy Nurse Corps 1987–1991 Nurse Corps 1987         1991   Retired. Director, Navy Nurse Corps.
57 Wilmot, Louise C.Louise C. Wilmot 1964 Commander, Naval Base Philadelphia −1994 URL 1988         1994   Retired. First woman to command a naval base.
58 Stratton, MariannMariann Stratton 1966 17th Director, Navy Nurse Corps 1991–1994 Nurse Corps 1991         1994   Retired. 17th Director, Navy Nurse Corps.
59 Ibach, Maryanne T. GallagherMaryanne T. Gallagher Ibach 1964 Reserve Nurse Corps 1990         1995   Retired. First Reserve flag officer for Navy Nurse Corps.
60 Laughton, Katharine L.Katharine L. Laughton 1963 Commander, Naval Space Command, Dahlgren, VA 1995–1997 Fleet Support 1993         1997   Retired.
61 Fackler, Nancy A.Nancy A. Fackler 1962 Deputy Director of the Navy Nurse Corps for Reserve Affairs Reserve Nurse Corps 1994         1997   retired.
62 Barnes, Jacqueline O. (Allison)Jacqueline O. (Allison) Barnes  ???? Director, On-Site Inspection Directorate 1998–2000 Fleet Support 1996         2000   Retired.
63 Fishburne, Lillian E.Lillian E. Fishburne 1973 (OCS) Director, Information Transfer Division for the Space, Information Warfare, Command and Control Directorate ?-2001 URL 1998         2001   Retired. First African-American woman to achieve flag rank.
64 Drew, Marianne B.Marianne B. Drew 1967 Deputy Commander, Navy Personnel Command Reserve, Fleet Support 1998         2002   Retired.
65 Mariano, EleanorEleanor Mariano 1977 White House Physician Medical Corps 2000         2001   Retired. First Filipino-American flag officer.
66 Levitre, Rosanne M.Rosanne M. Levitre 1973 (OCS) Director of Intelligence, J2, U.S. Joint Forces Command Intelligence 2000         2005   Retired. First Director, Navy Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), FORCEnet. First female Intel officer selected for flag rank in the United States Navy.
67 Turner, Carol I.Carol I. Turner 1977 Senior Health Care Executive, U.S. Navy Commander, Navy Medicine Support Command Dental Corps 2003         2008?   Retired. First female Chief of the Naval Dental Corps, 2003–2007.
68 Loewer, DeborahDeborah Loewer 1976 (OCS) Commander, Mine Warfare Command 2005–2006 Surface Warfare 2003         2007   Retired. First warfare-qualified woman selected for flag rank in the United States Navy.
69 Dullea, Cynthia A.Cynthia A. Dullea 1980 (OIS) Deputy Commander, Navy Medicine National Capital Area Reserve 2007           Retired.
70 Young, Maude ElizabethMaude Elizabeth Young 1984 (USNA) Director, Systems Engineering National Reconnaissance Office; Commander, SPAWAR Space Field Activity (SSFA), PEO for Space Systems, USN URL 2008           Retired.
71 Eleanor V. Valentin 1982 Director, Medical Service Corps, Commander, Navy Medicine Support Command, Jacksonville, Florida MSC 2009           Retired. 16th director of the Medical Service Corps (first female director)
72 Graf, Robin L.Robin L. Graf 1981 (OCS) Deputy Commander, Navy Recruiting Command URL 2009           Retired.
73 Webber, Diane E. H.Diane E. H. Webber  ? COMMANDER, NAVY CYBER FORCES URL 2009           Currently on active duty.
74 Phillips, Ann ClaireAnn Claire Phillips 1983 (ROTC) Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group Two Surface Warfare 2010           Retired.
75 Herbert, Gretchen S.Gretchen S. Herbert[58] 1984 (ROTC) Assistant Chief of Naval Operations, Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) URL 2010           Retired.
76 Rykowski, Margaret A.Margaret A. Rykowski 1987 Fleet Surgeon, Third Fleet NNC 2010           Retired.
77 Adams, Sandra E.Sandra E. Adams 1981 (OCS) Deputy Commander, Naval Expeditionary Combat Command URL (SWO) 2011           Currently on active duty.
78 Bono, Raquel C.Raquel C. Bono 1979 DIRECTOR, NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION MEDICAL DIRECTORATE, CHIEF, NAVY MEDICAL CORPS Medical Corps 2011           Currently on active duty.
79 Andrews, Annie B.Annie B. Andrews  ?? (ROTC) COMMANDER, NAVY RECRUITING COMMAND Navy Human Resources Officer 2011           Currently on active duty.
80 Jaynes, Cindy L.Cindy L. Jaynes 1983 (OCS) PROGRAM EXECUTIVE OFFICER FOR AIR ASW, ASSAULT & SPECIAL MISSION PROGRAMS, PEO(A) AMDO 2011           Currently on active duty.
81 Alvarado, Christina M.Christina M. Alvarado 1988 Deputy Commander, Navy Medicine East Nurse Corps 2013           Currently on active duty.
82 Bolivar, BabetteBabette Bolivar COMMANDER, NAVY REGION NORTHWEST EOD 2013           Currently on active duty.
83 Coe, Priscilla B.Priscilla B. Coe DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF, BUREAU OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY, DEPUTY CHIEF, NAVY RESERVE DENTAL CORPS Dental Corps 2013           Currently on active duty.
84 Franchetti, LisaLisa Franchetti 1985 (NROTC) COMMANDER, U.S. NAVAL FORCES KOREA, COMMANDER, U.S. NAVY REGION KOREA SWO 2013           Currently on active duty.
85 Grocki, Alma M.Alma M. Grocki 1981 (USNA) DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF FOR FLEET MAINTENANCE, COMMANDER, U.S. PACIFIC FLEET Reserve EDO 2013           Currently serving.
86 Haven, Deborah P.Deborah P. Haven COMMANDER, DEFENSE CONTRACT MANAGEMENT AGENCY INTERNATIONAL Reserve Supply Corps 2013           Currently serving.
87 Norton, Nancy A.Nancy A. Norton 1987 (OCS) DIRECTOR FOR COMMAND, CONTROL, COMMUNICATIONS AND CYBER, U.S. PACIFIC COMMAND URL 2013           Currently on active duty.
88 Sweredoski, BarbaraBarbara Sweredoski 1985 (NROTC) RESERVE DEPUTY, MILITARY PERSONNEL PLANS & POLICY N13R HR 2013           Currently serving.
89 Thebaud, CynthiaCynthia Thebaud 1985 (USNA) COMMANDER, LOGISTICS GROUP WESTERN PACIFIC, COMMANDER, TASK FORCE 73, SINGAPORE AREA COORDINATOR SWO 2013           Currently on active duty.

See also[edit]


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  5. ^ "Historical Timeline". Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
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  7. ^ Kathi Jackson, They Called Them Angels: American Military Nurses of World War II, pg 46 (2000)(First Nebraska paperback printing 2006).
  8. ^ a b c d Bureau of Naval Personnel, "History & Firsts". Retrieved 23 October 2009
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  15. ^ a b Commander, Submarine Group 9 Public Affairs. "First Qualified Female Submarine Supply Officer Receives Supply Dolphins". navy.mil. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  16. ^ a b c d "First Qualified Female Submariners Earn Dolphins | Military.com". military.com. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
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  51. ^ Elizabeth Hoffman (2003-03-28). "Military Service Should Be Based On Conduct, Not Sexual Orientation". prezi.com. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  52. ^ Craig A. Rimmerman Gay rights, military wrongs: political perspectives on lesbians and gays in the military, Garland Pub., 1996 ISBN 0815325800 p. 249
  53. ^ Thompson, Mark. (2008-01-28) 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Turns 15. TIME. Retrieved on 2010-11-30.
  54. ^ Richard A. Gittins The Military Commander & the Law, DIANE Publishing, 1996 ISBN 0788172603 p. 215
  55. ^ Graham, Ian (11 May 2011). "Submarine Integration a Learning Process, Task Force Leader Says". Navy.mil. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  56. ^ DeRenzi never held the rank of rear admiral (lower half) (O-7). She was promoted from captain (O-6) to rear admiral (O-8) when she assumed the duties of Deputy Judge Advocate General in 2009.
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  58. ^ "Rear Admiral Gretchen S. Herbert; Commander, Navy Cyber Forces". Navy.mil. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 

Further reading[edit]


External links[edit]