SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Twenty-six female naval officers on the San Diego waterfront gathered at the Independence Conference Room at Littoral Combat Ship Squadron (LCSRON) 1 for a mentorship session, Oct. 15.
The guest speakers for the event were Rear Adm. Daniel Fillion, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3, and his wife, retired Cmdr. Bronwyn Fillion. Topics of discussion included career opportunities, retention, detailing, career decision points, and work/life balance.
Ms. Fillion emphasized how possible it is to have a successful career and a strong marriage. As a 20-year Navy nurse, she traveled the world, supported a variety of missions, and made a difference that she is proud of.
"I witnessed a lot of my female classmates getting out of the Navy in order to have a family," she said. "I wanted to have a marriage, family and stay in the Navy though. Luckily, I had a great support team and a husband who understood my aspirations. I want to encourage all of you in this room to consider the possibilities of having a naval career before leaving such a fulfilling opportunity. With the right balance, you can make it happen."
Rear Adm. Fillion discussed how his career would not be what it is without the constant encouragement from his wife and family.
"It means a lot to me to be married to someone who understands the Navy and understands the challenges of the job," he said. "My spouse is not only someone I can confide in, but someone who worked closely with me through the tough times. We found balance in our lives when we were both active duty in order to complement each other. I know that several young service members are doing the same thing today and all I can tell dual military couples is to stick with it!"
Cmdr. Julie Grunwell, commanding officer, Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 1, organized the event.
"It is incredibly important that we give female officers an opportunity to address questions and concerns in a comfortable setting where they feel that they can ask the tough questions," said Grunwell. "Rear Adm. Fillion and his wife gave a tremendous and down-to-earth perspective on how to make a dual-military marriage succeed. Their personal stories and humor truly resonated well with the audience."
Quartetly, the mentorship sessions occur at Naval Base San Diego and provide female Sailors a chance to discuss a variety of topics in the fleet among female peers.