DVIDS – News – USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) Celebrates Women’s Equality Day at Sea
“Wake up, wake up, all hands up” is the first word heard over the general announcement system aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98). Sailors of all ranks and rates get out of their lockers and start the day. Men and women work side by side to ensure maintenance, cleaning, operations and planning are optimized to ensure the continued success of the vessel.
It was not until the passage of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948 that women were granted equal pay, rank and privileges in the military. Later in 1994, Congress repealed the Combat Exclusion Act which then allowed women to serve aboard surface combatants. Today, with more than 185,000 women of all ranks in the Department of the Navy and more than 70 women aboard the Forrest Sherman, women continue to break down barriers.
On August 26, the United States Navy celebrated Women’s Equality Day, celebrating the contributions of all women, recognizing gender equality, and appreciating diversity. Operating a naval warship overseas and away from home in contested waters is no easy task. Today’s Navy women are resilient, courageous and strong. They fly the fastest planes, drive the most powerful and advanced warships, and lead sailors aboard submarines to the depths of the ocean. It is clear that the women of the past decades have blazed an incredible trail for women today; while the women of today are creating an incredible future for the next generation of leaders.
Aboard the Forrest Sherman, there are women who serve in every cantonment, from the fire controller to the logistics specialist to the quartermaster, responsible for loading ammunition into the close-in weapons system, ensuring that parts and supplies are ordered to maintain the equipment and to ensure the route is checked for the safe navigation of the vessel. This work is difficult, the days are long and require great attention to detail. “There are days when it can be difficult or difficult, but joining the Navy gives you the chance to serve your country and I am proud to say that I am in the Navy serving my country,” Seaman Trinity said. Rodríguez.
“As a woman in the Navy, my experience has been both rewarding and challenging,” said Chief Logistics Specialist Aukitrian Elmore. “I always liked being a Logistics Specialist (LS), but it was hard to adjust to so many people giving orders when I left home to avoid that. My very first chief petty officer told me that the key to success was learning my pace, getting qualified, polishing my boots, and getting to work on time. I changed my mind and since then I’ve had the opportunity to take control of an F-18 and a C-130, pilot a warship, walk to the top of the Eiffel Tower, to turn 900 civilians into sailors and to oversee a $12 million Budget with four of the best LSs in the fleet. While trying to maintain some degree of those four little expectations I received as a sailor trying to adjust to Navy life.
Understanding both the external stresses of being away from home and the internal stresses of a grueling job, the ladies of Forrest Sherman came together to create a group called “Battle Sisters”. The group is made up of all ranks and rates, from the highest ranking officer to the seasoned chief petty officer to the newly registered junior sailor on board. The military is still a male-dominated workplace with only 25-year-old women allowed to serve on naval vessels. By creating Battle Sisters, every female sailor aboard the ship is exposed to female leaders, although there are potentially no females in their direct chain of command. It promotes diversity of thought, opens the possibility of discussing and comparing experiences and creates an environment conducive to potential mentorship.
“I had great days and not-so-great days in the Navy, like everyone else,” said Lt. Cmdr. Heather Ehrlich, flag aide for Rear Adm. Scott Sciretta, Commander Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2). “I always take lessons and bits of wisdom from the good and bad experiences I’ve had and apply them to how I lead. I hope that as a leader and a woman, I can influence at least one person to achieve her goals and see all the possibilities in the world.
By creating a forum for all ranks and rates to come together to discuss important issues and support each other, always encouraging diversity of thought, we will only grow stronger as a team. “Whether you join us for a 30-year career or as a springboard for future endeavors, there is always an opportunity to excel both personally and professionally,” said Chief Logistics Specialist Aukitrian Elmore. “Be the change you wish to see, trust the journey and never shrink for someone else’s comfort. You were meant to be you, shamelessly!
The incredible women of the past opened the door to the opportunities presented to today’s current leaders. Imagine what another 25 years of this effort could do for future leaders. “Be the change you seek,” said Ensign Maria Gholson. “If you want to see more women in leadership positions, be the woman in leadership position and others will follow your lead.”
Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) is the flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2), an integrated multinational task group that projects a constant and visible reminder of Alliance solidarity and cohesion afloat and provides the Alliance a continued maritime capability to perform a wide range of tasks, including exercises and real-world operations in times of crisis and conflict.
|Date posted:||27.08.2022 03:46|
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