Home / Community / History & Heritage / 100 Years of Deckplate Leadership by Female Navy Chiefs
Graphic of women in the Navy

100 Years of Deckplate Leadership by Female Navy Chiefs

Female Sailors and civilians have a rich history of service in our Navy. On March 21, 1917, Loretta Perfectus Walsh left her mark on that history when she became our first female chief petty officer.

In honor of today’s centennial anniversary and Women’s History Month, we’re looking back at other female Sailors – part of that long and distinguished legacy – who benefited from our female chiefs’ deckplate leadership.

Female yeomen at the U.S. Naval Hospital, Mare Island, California, 1918. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
Female yeomen at the U.S. Naval Hospital, Mare Island, California, 1918. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
Seaman 2nd Class Elaine Olsen (left) and Seaman 2nd Class Ted Snow learn to take down a radial aircraft engine block at Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, New Jersey, during World War II. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
Seaman 2nd Class Elaine Olsen (left) and Seaman 2nd Class Ted Snow learn to take down a radial aircraft engine block at Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, New Jersey, during World War II. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
Specialist (T) 3rd Class Dorothy Knee and Specialist (T) Genevieve Close direct aircraft arrivals and departures from the control tower at Naval Air Station, Anacostia, District of Columbia, in early or mid-1943. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
Specialist (T) 3rd Class Dorothy Knee and Specialist (T) Genevieve Close direct aircraft arrivals and departures from the control tower at Naval Air Station, Anacostia, District of Columbia, in early or mid-1943. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
WAVES visit USS Missouri (BB 63) in an east coast port, during the ship’s shakedown period, circa August 1944. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
WAVES visit USS Missouri (BB 63) in an east coast port, during the ship’s shakedown period, circa August 1944. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
A female Sailor mans her duty station as USS Sanctuary (AH 17)’s lookout on the ship in Hunter's Point, California, March 1973. The Sailor was one of the fifty women in the Navy assigned to duty on the Navy hospital ship. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
A female Sailor mans her duty station as USS Sanctuary (AH 17)’s lookout on the ship in Hunter’s Point, California, March 1973. The Sailor was one of the fifty women in the Navy assigned to duty on the Navy hospital ship. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

 

Today, women serve in every rank from seamen to admiral, hold nearly every job from naval aviator to deep-sea diver, and have the opportunity to serve in any occupation. They represent 19 percent of our entire naval force, 18 percent of all officers, 11 percent of flag officers, 20 percent of the enlisted force, and eight percent of all senior and master chiefs.

Tell us in the comments below about a female Navy chief who positively impacted your life.

Comments

comments

Check Also

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 16, 2016) Fiscal Year 2017 chief petty officers stand at attention during a chief pinning ceremony aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Gaines/Released)

10 Things to know about U.S. Navy Chiefs

Effectively running and fighting a warship relies on bridging the gap between officers and enlisted …