R 061726Z MAR 23 MID200080785564U
FM SECNAV WASHINGTON DC
INFO SECNAV WASHINGTON DC
CNO WASHINGTON DC
CMC WASHINGTON DC
MSGID/GENADMIN/SECNAV WASHINGTON DC/-/MAR//
SUBJ/DEPARTMENT OF NAVY 2023 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH//
RMKS/1. During the month of March, the Department of the Navy (DON) celebrates Women’s History Month to commemorate the contributions of military and civilian women to the DON. Women have shown extraordinary grit, determination and adaptability throughout history, often in the face of adversity and bias, to shape the future of our Nation. In “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories,” we pay tribute to the dedication of those courageous individuals who have shared their multifaceted stories, giving a voice to those from all backgrounds. It is because of their endurance, tenacity, and resilience that the number of women among our ranks has continued to increase since my time as a service member many years ago.
For centuries, countless women have played a critical role in ensuring the safety and security of our Nation, even though it was not until the 1948 Women’s Armed Services Integration Act that women were allowed to serve as full and permanent members of all Armed Forces branches. For instance, Ms. Juliet Beyler, Executive Director for U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, was one of the first Marine Corps women to become a combat engineer officer, while airman Roseann Roberts, became the first Navy woman Helicopter Plane Captain, attached to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Three, paving the way for female enlisted Sailors in the aviation community. We remember Captain Rosemary B. Mariner, one of the first women to enter Navy flight school in 1973, earning her Wings of Gold a year later, becoming one of the Navy’s first female jet pilots and Anna Der-Varanian, the first woman promoted to the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer. In 2021, the first woman graduated from a Naval Special Warfare assessment and the selection pipeline to become a Special Warfare Combatant Craft Crewman and support the SEALs. Last month I also celebrated the renaming of John Lewis-class replenishment oiler T-AO 212 in honor of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with her family and other members of the Supreme Court.
These trailblazers built bridges and shattered glass ceilings for the true equality of every woman that would selflessly choose to serve their country. Sheryl Sandberg, former COO at Facebook, describes it best. “The word ‘female’, when inserted in front of something, is always with a note of surprise. Female COO, female pilot, female surgeon-as if the gender implies surprise. One day there won’t be female leaders. There will just be leaders.”
The DON’s total force consists of more than 180,000 women serving in every grade and rank in commands across the fleet and on the front lines of our force. It is vitally important to our Nation that we remind every generation of women that there are extraordinary opportunities available at the highest levels of service in the Navy, Marine Corps, and the civil service. I remain committed to ensuring gender equity is achieved at all levels of the DON and that every Sailor, Marine, and civilian is provided the opportunity and support to thrive in their profession with the respect that they deserve. I am truly grateful for every Sailor, Marine and civil servant who serves our Nation.
2. Released by the Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy.//
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