YOKOSUKA, Japan – Crewmembers aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) closed out Women’s History Month in celebration of the strong leaders who have made an impression, both past and present, April 2.
Several women from Lassen crew spoke about the accomplishments of both military and civilian role models. Chief Warrant Officer Tonye Golston was the guest speaker during the event, saying “in addition to all the famous women who made history, like Sacagawea and Rosa Parks, there are countless unsung heroes, like all the women on board Lassen who make this mighty warship come to life.”
In recognition of the strong women on board Lassen, a 5-inch gun shoot was conducted with all female watch stations manned by women officers and crew – tactical action officer, anti-air warfare coordinator, officer of the deck and conning officer, and even watch stations in engineering. Women continue to contribute to Lassen’s overall success as a strong forward deployed warship, working side-by-side their male counterparts, fostering the importance of a fair and equal work environment.
“Creating an all-women watchteam for the gun shoot just shows how much pride we all take in our job,” said Firecontrolman Mercedes Lair. “I’m always impressed with how much of an impact we can make…I think this was a great way to observe Women’s History Month.”
Today, women make up 18 percent of the military and are assigned to all areas of service including ships, submarines, staff, construction, and aviation. Navy wide, approximately 59,442 women are active duty and 10,308 are reservists. 58 crew members in Lassen are women, 7 officers and 51 enlisted. At 19 percent, that makes Lassen among the highest women crew of the forward deployed naval forces (FDNF) in Japan, a testament to the strength women provide to military service.
Lassen is one of seven Arleigh-burke class guided-missile destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15 and is forward-deployed to Yokosuka supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.