Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed a joint resolution establishing Women’s History Week. In 1987, Congress proclaimed March Women’s History Month to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of women throughout American History.

Women began serving unofficially as Navy nurses in the 1800s, most notably during the Civil War aboard USS Red Rover, the Navy’s first hospital ship. In 1908, Congress established the Navy Nurse Corps and women worked in the Navy in an official capacity.

 

 

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During the last century, women first served on sea duty in 1978 aboard our auxiliary ships. We can take great pride in knowing that MSC directly contributed to expanding career opportunities for women in our Navy.

And in our current time, just last year, the Department of Defense opened all military occupations and positions to women. Today, women serve in every rank in our Navy, from Seaman to Admiral.  Female servicemembers and civilians have a long and distinguished legacy of service in the Navy.

Women represent 19 percent of the entire uniformed Naval Force and 27 percent of the civilian workforce. While the Navy has made great strides in this area, there is still work to be done to increase opportunities for women in our workforce.

Women’s History Month, similar to other special emphasis activities, gives us an opportunity to learn and even challenge ourselves. We know that our Navy, including MSC, benefits from a diverse workforce.  These celebration events provide us with occasions to positively affect diversity and equality through general learning and interaction with our coworkers.

Next week we’ll have an opportunity to celebrate Women’s History Month together with a program and guest speaker. I encourage everyone working in the headquarters area to attend this event.  Those working at other locations should look for opportunities to participate in any Women’s History Month activities taking place on your installation or in the local community.

United We Sail,

Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne, USN

Commander, Military Sealift Command

 

 

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