CORONADO, Calif. - Military and civilian personnel on the staff of Commander, Assault Craft Unit One (ACU-1) gathered together to observe Women’s History Month with a special ceremony and cake cutting, March 11.
The ceremony, sponsored by the ACU-1 Diversity Committee, emphasized this year's nationwide theme of "Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.”
ACU-1’s observance included remarks by Evelyn Coy, Shirley Ferrill and Monica O’Hara, all former WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) and now members of the local San Diego “Stars and Stripes” chapter of the women veterans organization. The ceremony also featured Karen Connor, the former Force Master Chief for Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific.
Ferrill captured the audience with her story about how the Navy was ill prepared for female WAVES. She recalls having to wear civilian clothes for her first few months at her new duty station because there were no female uniforms.
“All of the civilians were always able to pick the military WAVES out of a crowd because they were required to wear the hideous patent leather dress shoes," said Ferril, commenting about when the uniforms did actually arrive.
Quartermaster 1st Class (SW) Regina Jones from ACU-1 said she was proud of the path that these Sailors had forged decades before she entered the military.
“These ladies helped get us to where we are today,” said Jones.
It was a proud and emotional day at ACU-1. Sailors were inspired by 26 year veteran Karen O’Connor who enlisted in 1979 as a cryptologic technician and went on to represent more than 100,000 Sailors as a member of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy’s Senior Enlisted Panel.
Celebrated each March in the United States and at U.S. military commands around the world, Women’s History Month can be traced back to 1981 when Congress passed Public Law 97-28 which authorized and requested the president to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as Women’s History Week.
Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the president to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month.