Dewey Celebrates Women’s History Month

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO -- Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105) participated in a Women’s History Month ceremony on the ship’s mess deck, March 28.

The ceremony, sponsored by Dewey’s Cultural Awareness Committee paid tribute to this year’s Women’s History Month theme: Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business. The ceremony kicked off with words from Dewey’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Anthony Webber, followed by special recognition for the 45 women of the USS Dewey team, a presentation of important women in the Navy’s history and the traditional ceremonial cake cutting.

“When I joined the Navy in 2013, women were already serving in almost every community. It was no longer a question of integration or a struggle to prove our ‘value’ to the service. We were and still are viewed simply as Sailors, here to do a job just like everyone else,” stated Lt. j.g. Courtney Briney a native of Corning, Ark.

“This month we celebrate those generations before us whose dedication and commitment allowed our Navy to access the unlimited potential of the American people, regardless of gender,” said Briney.

Women first began serving in the Navy as nurses in the 1800’s but did not gain permanent status in the Navy until 1948 with the passage of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act. Today women proudly serve in every rank and position of the Navy making up 18% of the enlisted force, 8% of all senior and master chiefs, as well as 18% of the officer corps and 11% of all admirals.

One of those women, Seaman Talia Toelle of Des Moines, Iowa, is the most junior female Sailor serving aboard Dewey. Toelle said she appreciates the opportunities she has earned through her career choice.

“The Navy gives me the opportunity to be a role model for young women around the country to show them that they really can do any job they want,” said Toelle.

In addition to the Women’s History Month ceremony, the Dewey cultural committee organizes commemorative meals and presentations to inform Sailors about the different cultures and heritages that make up the Navy team and recognizes them through the year by celebrating historical events.

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