Millington, Tennessee - Sailors and civilians from Navy Recruiting Command (NRC) celebrated women's history month March 31 with a video presentation and guest speakers highlighting the important contributions of women in both the military and civilian sector.
The theme of this year's celebration was 'celebrating women of character, courage and commitment' and included a review of milestones achieved by women in the Navy over the years, while guest speakers shared their personal experiences.
The event started with an invocation by Navy Recruiting Command's first female to hold office of the senior chaplain corps and chaplain community management branch director, Capt. Dianna Meehan. Guest speakers included Pam Holland, NRC's general officers marketing manager, and Master Chief Navy Counselor Sherri Felder, NRC's senior enlisted leader. Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, Rear Adm. Annie B. Andrews gave closing remarks.
Holland, a retired Navy commander, shared her experiences while serving in the Navy in the 90s, and was one of the first women aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). She explained she was proud to have served in the Navy and was excited for future opportunities for women.
"I'm glad women are on ships," said Holland. "I know the Navy will get more integrated in the future with women being assigned to submarines."
Felder said when she first joined the Navy the attitude toward women was different than it is today.
"When I joined the Navy I was offered corpsman and personnelman," said Felder. "I was told that's all women could do in the Navy."
Felder said her father trained the first female military police officer in the Air Force and credits him to being the woman she is today.
"I told my dad what the Navy had offered me," said Felder. "He told me I could be whatever I wanted and I decided to become a machinist's mate."
The short event was well-received by the audience.
"In 28 years of federal service, this was the best presentation I've ever attended," said, Michelle Lee, the diversity advertising manager for NRC." "It was amazing to see where the women you work with have been and the ways they've changed history."
The event closed with remarks by Andrews who emphasized her gratitude for the shared sea stories and personal accounts which made the presentation that much more enjoyable.
"To the women of NRC, you are trail blazers, and I thank you!"
Andrews explained what makes the Navy great, however, is that it takes the effort of everyone involved.
"Men and women make the Navy what it is," said Andrews. "If you can do a job, it doesn't matter what your gender is. You do it because you understand."
Today there are approxmately 59,000 active duty women and another 9,000 in the Reserve, and the Navy Recruiting Command team is proud to seek the brightest men and women to join our ranks every day. Both men and women serve on recruiting duty and represent today's Navy with pride as ambassadors across the nation.