PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) Master Chief Marco Ramirez and PACFLT Staff Command Master Chief Terri Carroll-Gillis spoke with crew members during their Women's History Month celebration, aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) March 30.
The theme for this year's event was "Weaving the Stories of Women's Lives." Carroll-Gillis praised the progression the military has made and the diversity seen in today's Navy.
"Over the years we have learned to appreciate diversity and I know we are getting better at it in the Navy," said Carroll-Gillis. "We need diversity to be a high-functioning team. Diversity brings about a perspective that you may not normally get and one that we need to be a great fighting force. By looking at the diversity of this crew, I can see how far the Navy has come."
For over a century, women have served in the Navy, steadily gaining more rights and privileges as service members. One of the last great hurdles for equal job opportunities in the Navy comes with the inclusion of women serving onboard submarines.
Ramirez reassures the fact that women and their contributions are appreciated year-round, but is pleased to highlight their efforts during a specific month.
"Women, of course, are also a part of history for the 11 months of the year," said Ramirez. "And I would add that women were influencing the course of history long before 1980, or 1911. But I am glad that there is, each year, a time when we pause to think about the role of women, because history is more than simply what happened, and more than what women and men did to make it happen."
The celebration was coordinated by the head of the Multicultural Committee, Chief Operations Specialist Aisha Jenkins.
"I am so glad the Sailors got a chance to hear from Master Chief Carroll," said Jenkins. "It's important for them to get the background story from a successful female Sailor and be able to ask questions."
USS Hopper was named after the late Rear Adm. Grace Hopper. During World War II, Hopper joined the Navy as a junior officer and worked mainly with computers, shaping the way they are today. She coined the term "Computer Bug" after a moth flew into a computer causing a disruption. Hopper has been quoted saying that her greatest accomplishment was her 43-years of training young service members and that our greatest natural resource we have is our young people.