How the navy has or has not changed regarding the treatment of women:

Despite raising their right hand and swearing to serve their country, women in the Navy are still often seen as weak and undeserving of a place in the hallowed halls of warriors. In today’s Navy, changes in the treatment of women need to focus more on mindset instead of the institution.

Over the last decade the Navy has made multiple institutional changes, the most pivotal of which being the integration of women on submarines. Additionally, it has recognized the multiple roles they play as Sailor, wife, mother, daughter, and leader. In that effort, they have increased parental leave, recognized both parents’ roles in child rearing, and made uniform and PT standard changes in support of these various roles. However, despite these changes which have increased women’s abilities to deploy and serve in different capacities, their service is still deemed sub-standard.

Change is hard for everyone. It takes a strong person to accept change especially when you have committed to an organization for so long causing it to be rooted in your identity. To further improve the treatment of women in the Navy, we need to continue to provide more unbiased opportunities for both women and men to lead at all levels based not on gender but on qualification, skillset or experience.  Furthermore, the negative mindset towards women that still plagues the Navy today needs to be addressed head-on by leaders at the department, command, and upper echelon levels. While change starts at home it is reinforced in public.

I have been very fortunate to have deployed and worked alongside many women who also believe in strong female leadership and continuing to change our Navy.  I will forever be grateful for the immense support that I have received throughout my career from not just women but men alike; however, I do recognize that I may be an exception to this.

I look forward to the continued route that the institution is taking as well as the growth our Sailors are making within our Navy ranks. I am excited for the change that I may one day also bring for those women that choose to enlist in our Navy in the years to come. 

Petty Officer Pavelich’s biography follows:


Petty Officer First Class Pavelich was born in Albuquerque, NM, and graduated from Mayfield High School. She enlisted in the United States Navy on July 07, 2008, and attended Basic and Seaman Apprentice Training in Great Lakes, IL. She then attended the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, where she successfully completed the Basic Mandarin course.

Petty Officer First Class Pavelich was detailed to NIOC Hawaii in November 2010, where she served on the FIOC Battlewatch.  She also served as an operator for three missions, to include; SWEARBOW, Analysis and Production and Information Operations Cell. Additionally she held duties as Division Assistant Command Fitness Leader, and Volunteer Coordinator for the Junior Enlisted Organization. During this tour, she earned the Enlisted Information Warfare Specialist Qualification, and was awarded a Navy Achievement Medal (NAM) for her superior performance.   

In May of 2015; Petty Officer First Class Pavelich volunteered for duty as an Aircrewman. She attended and graduated from the Aircrew Pipeline to include; Water Survival School, two SERE schools, and the EP-3 Familiarization Course. In September 2015, Petty Officer First Class Pavelich was reassigned to NIOC Hawaii in a Direct Support Aircrew billet as a Language Analyst, where she was promoted to CTI1. She went on to earn both Naval Aircrew Operator and Enlisted Air Warfare (NAO/AW) qualifications. While assigned as an Operator, Petty Officer Pavelich twice deployed to Detachment Kadena, Okinawa for over 224 days. Petty Officer First Class Pavelich also served as Department Assistant Command Fitness Leader.

In May 2018, Petty Officer First Class Pavelich’s next tour was at NIOC Hawaii, where she was assigned to the 501 Combat Mission Team (CMT). She served as a Language Analyst and Target Digital Network Analyst across six different missions. She held leadership collateral duties as NIOC HAWAII First Class Petty Officer Association Master at Arms, Directorate Voting Assistant Coordinator, Department Leading Petty Officer, Department Building Petty Officer, and Division Leading Petty Officer. Additionally she supported families as the Ombudsman for her husband’s ship, the USS WAYNE E. MEYER.  She also spearheaded the first-ever fitness program tailored specifically for prenatal and postpartum Sailors and their spouses.

In June 2021, Petty Officer First Class Pavelich returned  to NIOC Hawaii and was re-assigned to the 501 Combat Mission Team (CMT), where she continues to work as a Language Analyst and Target Digital Network Analyst under three different missions. She holds senior leadership roles as Directorate Leading Petty Officer and Department Leading Petty Officer for over 300 personnel. Additionally, she is performing leadership collateral duties as NIOC HAWAII First Class Petty Officer Association Vice President and President, N9B Directorate Sponsorship Coordinator and N9B Directorate Assistant Command Fitness Leader.

Her personal decorations include Navy Achievement Medal (4).

Petty Officer First Class Pavelich is married to Chief Petty Officer Ryan Pavelich of Temecula, California. Together they have three sons and one daughter.