SAN DIEGO – The crew of the guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) joined together to celebrate Women’s History Month with a special ceremony, March 27.
To commemorate the achievements of women, Mobile Bay’s multi-cultural committee presented a slide show of influential women serving in the military and invited Cmdr. Rachel Velasco-Lind, commanding officer of the Naval Information Operations Command (NIOC) in San Diego to discuss her personal experiences as she has risen to positions of command.
Velasco-Lind was commissioned in 1996 and initially served as a surface warfare officer. Following competition of two tours as a division officer aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and USS Kinkaid (DD 965), she attended the Naval Postgraduate School and laterally transferred to the information warfare community.
After such a successful career leading her to become commanding officer of NIOC, Velasco-Lind said she looks back and is impressed with how much the culture of the Navy has changed.
“Everybody realizes that everybody has differences, and it’s good to the point that we don’t have to fight for that kind of equality,” said Velasco-Lind. “Look around, you are like what America’s melting pot is supposed to look like, the Navy does it better than most.”
Following Velasco-Lind’s remarks, Yeoman 1st Class (SW) Shanika Jones, a Mobile Bay crew member and the 2013 recipient of the Master Chief Petty Officer Anna Der-Vartanian Leadership Award, joined her for a cake cutting ceremony to celebrate the contributions of women in the military today.
According to event organizers, the program showcased the crew’s deep camaraderie and commitment to upholding equal standards and fair treatment to all. The best Sailors advance on merit, regardless of gender or any other factors.
Mobile Bay’s dedication to recognizing the importance of diversity and opportunity for all Sailors is evident throughout all communities, and makes the U.S. Navy the fighting force it is today. Out of Mobile Bay’s 339 officers and crew members, a total of 46 are currently women.
Mobile Bay is currently undergoing a CNO’s selected restricted availability at the BAE Shipyard San Diego after returning from deployment in April 2013 and completion of eight months of follow-on sustainment operations. Mobile Bay is assigned to the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group and Commander, Carrier Strike Group Three.