CORONADO, Calif. - Military and civilian personnel on the staff of Commander, Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVSURFPAC) joined in paying tribute to the generations of women and their invaluable commitment to the military in a Women’s History Month celebration, March 20.
The national theme for this year’s Women’s History Month is “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.”
The celebration included remarks by Vice Adm. Thomas S. Rowden, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, and a presentation by volunteers from the COMNAVSURFPAC staff.
Rowden opened the ceremony by sharing his experience of being a part of the third class at the United States Naval Academy to commission female officers, one of whom being Adm. Michelle Howard, the current Vice Chief of Naval Operations.
“The Navy has come a long way with 17 percent of the active and reserve forces being women,” said Rowden. “We are here to recognize the challenges of change and how women in our Navy have overcome and continue to overcome these challenges.”
However, Rowden said there is still work to do.
“Our goal is to be a Navy where everyone can achieve their full potential,” said Rowden.
This year’s theme was creatively displayed as COMNAVSURFPAC volunteers acted out their own narratives to the audience. Stories included the challenges and triumphs of being mothers, sisters, friends, athletes and actresses. The commonality amongst their stories was how they interconnect with their roles in the Navy.
“Every woman has a story to tell,” said Senior Chief Logistics Specialist (SW/AW) Jackquelynne Foley, the coordinator for this year’s event. “We need to recognize and celebrate our stories because they are invaluable pieces of our Navy’s history.”
Women's History Month originated in 1978, when the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women initiated a women's history week to coincide with international women's day on March 8. In 1981, in response to growing support for the week, Congress passed a joint resolution proclaiming a women's history week.
The National Women's History Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring and preserving women's history, petitioned Congress in 1987 to expand the celebration to the entire month of March. Since then, National Women's History Month has commemorated the diverse contributions women have made, and continue to make, to our Nation.