The Navy needs a few good (wo)men!
ccording to the U.S Navy Website, as of 14 May, 2001 there are 52,888 Navel officers on active duty. At the same time there are 316 active ships in the Navy.
Assuming each ship has a commander and further assuming each ship has only one commander, this means there are 316 (or almost 0.6%) Naval Officers that are in command of a ship. If your goal in life is to be a Navy ship commander, you had better be pretty good! The competition is fierce!
Now take this one step further. What if you are a woman? Of those 316 Naval ship commanders, five are women. In 1978 the Navy dropped its ban on women serving aboard ships, and by 1979 'Junior' officer Deborah A. Loewer, along with three other women, was serving on the Destroyer Tender Yosemite (AD-19) alongside 1,100 men.
These women were 'accepted' as members of the crew. Not well accepted, not gladly accepted, not happily accepted, but they were accepted. It was long hard work. These women learned to operate a ship, but often the lessons were given through clenched teeth.
Meet Capt. Deborah A. Loewer, the Navy's senior female surface warfare officer -- a designation involving extensive training, testing and sea duty in the areas of ship handling, combat systems, engineering and more.
In 1998 she was the Captain of the USS Camden (AOE-2), a replenishment ship home
(Continued on page 5)