Petty Officer 3rd Class Yona Owens was instrumental in securing the right for women to serve aboard ships. She enlisted in the Navy in 1973 and in 1976 launched a class-action suit (Owens v. Brown) against the Navy arguing that regulations prohibiting women from serving on board ships were unconstitutional. The court ultimately ruled in her favor in 1978, and by autumn of that same year the law was amended to allow women to serve at sea.