LTJG Riggins was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Upon graduating high school in 2012, LTJG Riggins attended the University of South Florida, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations. In 2015, She enlisted in the United States Navy, as a Cryptologic Technician Technical (CTT).
After completing Navy boot camp at RTC Great Lakes, LTJG Riggins went on to Corry Station in Pensacola, FL. While at Corry Station, LTJG Riggins completed CTT “A” school and SLQ-32 V2 Technical “C” school. Upon completion of her training, LTJG Riggins was stationed onboard USS Gravely (DDG 107). During her time onboard (2016-2019), LTJG Riggins performed various duties as a petty officer. Some of her favorite responsibilities included roles as: Electronic Warfare Supervisor, Workcenter Supervisor, Senior Technician, EMCON Coordinator and OPSEC assistant.
While onboard, LTJG Riggins earned the rank of Second Class Petty Officer. She earned both her Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist and Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist pins. She completed a 2018-2019 deployment with SNMG-1 conducting exercises, leading several EW exercises. In 2019, LTJG Riggins applied and was accepted to Officer Candidate School.
Having completed Officer Candidate School, LTJG Riggins earned her commission in February, 2020 and completed the Information Warfare Basics Course. LTJG Riggins was assigned to Navy Information Operations Command Georgia as a Deputy Division Chief for the Director of Operations at National Security Agency/Central Security Service Georgia in June 2020. During her time she supported United States and Coalition Forces engaged in Operation INHERENT RESOLVE, RESOLUTE SUPPORT, and overseas contingency operations. She also supported the evacuation of United States and Coalition Forces during the Afghanistan Contingency Event, enabling the successful evacuation of over 10,000 U.S. and Afghan citizens. Additionally, she earned her Master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma in Organizational Leadership. She is currently stationed onboard USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) as the Information Warfare Officer.
She has been awarded the Joint Commendation award and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, as well as several unit awards and citations.
Honestly, as a woman in the Navy, I feel that I have faced many challenges. I have experienced male peers and leaders who have been demeaning, sexist, and exclusionary toward me. I have been told that I am too aggressive at times, but the assertion of my male peers was acceptable. I have also experienced peers and other service members seeing women as objects rather than coworkers. I have had my phone number stolen and passed around. I have had several sailors make advances at me and I have even been penalized for perceived “inappropriate behavior” as a junior sailor. Luckily, I reported the incident to my Commanding Officer who addressed and corrected the responsible parties. I would be lying if I said being a woman in the military is easy, it isn’t. However, I have made some of the most amazing friends during my time in service and I have been able to support and mentor many junior sailors, which hopefully will make an impact in their careers and the way that they treat others. The Navy has provided me many opportunities and I would argue that while there are still many unacceptable “Old School Navy” behaviors toward women, that ultimately we are trending in a more positive direction. My current ship has several female officers and department heads, in fact, you can find women in leadership positions on most platforms, and instructions have improved to protect and provide more equal opportunity to female sailors.
28 March 2023 at 00:46
Sad to read that “there are still many unacceptable `Old School Navy’ behaviors toward women.” The good news is that “ultimately we are trending in a more positive direction.”
As a male who has worked with women—including during my service in the Navy from 24 August 1970 to 10 November 1971—I’ve upset or annoyed several of the women I’ve worked with over the years. And two of my three wives complained that I’m often too prone to argue with them. I’ve also been told by my present wife that I “sometimes” get too loud and upset.
There are differences between men and women. Men, in general, are more aggressive than women. Women, in general, are far better multi-taskers than men. In early 2011, I worked in a small office with the USDA Forest Service in Missoula, Montana. There were only two of us in that small office. We both had our sights set on a GS-7 position as manager of the “National Forest Store” which sold maps to the public. The woman I worked with complained at least twice to our supervisors, one stationed in Arizona, the other in California. Both supervisors were women. The net result after the second complaint was that one of those two supervisors, without ever talking to me for my side of the story, ordered me through a third party to remove my personal effects and government property I used from the National Forest Store. Neither of the two supervisors ever spoke to me directly about my co-worker’s complaint. The only people who spoke to me about the coworker’s complaint were my former supervisors whom I had worked for in the Missoula Regional Office (in the same building). I forget the exact date I was ordered out of the National Forest Store, but I was not at all happy with that situation. It was my belief then, it remains my belief to this day, the lady who complained about me wanted me out of the National Forest Store because she could not compete with me in the work the two of us were doing. (She lived 30 miles or more from Missoula; her husband and her son were working in the petroleum industry in North Dakota. They were out of state, and this woman was alone on her ranch, for two weeks or more at a time. This lady I worked with was driving home and to work on icy roads. Not too long before I was ordered out of the NFS, this woman saw a car skid and turn over—right in front of her vehicle while driving home from work in the dark. In short, this lady was not a happy person. To be entirely fair, my wife had passed away a few months earlier at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. I, too, wasn’t as happy as I could have been. But I do not believe to this day that I treated other people less than nicely, or that I was in any way unprofessional.)
To make a long, sad story short, I was ordered out of the National Forest Store in either late February or early March 2011. I felt then and I still feel to this day that I was treated in a most unfair manner. I did not take the issue up with the two supervisors in Arizona or California, as they had not called me to discuss the matter. And I didn’t take it up with the Regional Civil Rights office. I certainly did consider suing the two women supervisors (Arizona and California) and the USDA Forest Service so as to clear my otherwise good record. Since I was ordered back to my previous position, also in the basement of the Missoula Federal Building, I decided to “retire” from the Forest Service, which I did, on 11 July 2011. (I was afraid the woman in the National Forest Store would make up some other story about me causing trouble for her.)
A few interesting points that were never discussed by the three individuals from the Missoula RO prior to or after my being relieved from the National Forest Store: (1) The woman I was working with was at least as tall if not taller than I am (at six feet); In February 2011, I was sixty-two years old. This former “rodeo queen” from a small town in Montana was, I suspect, twenty or more years younger than I was at that time. She was undoubtedly in vastly better physical condition than I was. Had we had a physical altercation (which she never charged me with, all she said was she was afraid I was on the verge of getting physical), this stout, much younger woman probably would have beaten the c – – – out of me.
My point in bringing up the most unpleasant incident of my working life is that at no time while working in any job I’ve ever been in, had I ever considered getting physical—in any way, including sexual—with any person, male or female, I’ve ever worked for or with.
I quit working for the USDA Forest Service. I had many male and female friends who knew me who, to this day, believe I had never given the woman I was working with in the National Forest Store any reason to be afraid of me (other than the realization that I was vastly better at the work we were both doing than she was). I ran my own Land Rover/Rover parts business from 1974 to 1986. Over ninety percent of McKane’s Rover Imports, Inc. of San Diego sales were to people living outside the State of California. The vast majority of those sales was by telephone, with a tiny fraction of our sales by U.S. mail. (No sales were made back then by Internet.)
Because of obvious problems with quality control of the British corporation I was involved with, I decided in late 1983 to “get the hell out of the car business and write a book.” Between late 1983 and 1 January 1986 when I closed the doors to my business for the last time, I tried—but failed—to get Chrysler Corporation to buy Land Rover Limited from the British Government. In August 1986, I received a letter from Lee Iacocca telling me that talks with Land Rover had ended. I was not and did not hear that Chrysler decided to buy AMC/Jeep, which was announced as I recall, in January 1987.
A number of women worked for my former business. None of them ever accused me of doing anything unethical. No woman and no male employee ever registered any fear of any kind about working with me. One of those former female employees, the daughter of a retired Army lieutenant colonel, remains a close personal friend to this day.
My point: Hopefully individuals, small and large companies/corporations, and the U.S. Government, don’t always believe that women in the work place are being fully honest when they charge men with doing things that we males should not be doing in or outside of the work place. (All this was and still is a personal issue. My reference to this here is the first time I’ve ever made a public statement of any kind since being relieved from the job in the National Forest Store. Because of the nature of the work I’m doing now, and hopefully will continue doing for the rest of my life, I want my side of the story, should it ever come up again, to be part of the public record.)
My message to Lieutenant Riggins is not that I don’t believe her, but that I hope she’s being fair in her evaluation of the men she works with. If your complaints about your male shipmates are accurate, please know that I’m fully on your side, Lieutenant Riggins, that the actions of the males who are less than kind and professional to you, should and must cease.
If you love the Navy as I do, remain Navy. Do the best work you can. Be the best person you can be in and out of uniform. If other individuals, male or female, treat you in an unfair or unethical manner, point it out to them privately. If the problem(s) continue to exist, take it up the chain of command. There’s an old saying: “The Navy takes care of its own.” I trust this will always be true. Some individuals, however, may take considerable time to learn to treat others respectfully.
While on the surface my mouthing off may appear unjustified and unprofessional, overall I hope the primary point is that all of us—including our Government—need to try harder so we can all get along in the work place.
Andrew “Andy” McKane IV
1446 Hawaiian time, Monday, 27 March 2023
P.O. Box 166
Maunaloa, Molokai, Hawaii 96770