Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Submarine History at Kings Bay; Officer Is One of the First Women Pronounced Qualified to Operate Sub

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Submarine History at Kings Bay; Officer Is One of the First Women Pronounced Qualified to Operate Sub

Article excerpt

Byline: William Browning

ST. MARYS | The ceremony itself took no more than five minutes. But military history was made Wednesday at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base when Lt. j.g. Marquette Leveque became one of the first Navy female officers in history to be deemed qualified to operate a submarine.

"Obviously, it is a huge honor," Leveque said after receiving her "dolphin" pin. "But quite honestly, I just go to work every day and do my job just like my male counterparts have. It just feels good to finally be a submariner."

Leveque, 24, is a chemistry and radiological controls assistant assigned to the USS Wyoming's Gold Crew.

Two other Navy women - Lt. j.g. Amber Cowan and Lt. j.g. Jennifer Noonan - qualified in submarines on Wednesday. A ceremony for those two women, who are assigned to the USS Maine's Blue Crew, took place at Kitsap-Bangor Naval Base in Washington.

All three women are unrestricted line officers, which means they could one day command a submarine.

A "dolphin" pin is the informal nickname for a Submarine Warfare Insignia. In order to receive a pin, the women, like men, must show they can drive and fight the submarine, perform damage control functions and demonstrate leadership abilities.

USS Wyoming Gold Crew officer Lt. j.g. Kyle McFadden also received his "dolphin" pin Wednesday.

Women were first allowed to serve on surface ships in 1993, but could not serve on submarines until 2011. One of the strongest arguments against it was that it would be too expensive to equip submarines for men and women.

When asked what the most difficult moment was when she first began serving on a submarine, Leveque laughed.

"When we first got on board we had to get used to the whole changing-the-sign-on-the-bathroom thing," she said. "But there was never any awkward moments with it."

There are no separate bathrooms for men or women on a submarine, just a sign that says it is either occupied by a male or a female.

Cmdr. Christopher Nash, commanding officer of the USS Wyoming's Gold Crew, said anytime a submarine officer qualifies it is a huge accomplishment, one that takes roughly a year and a half to achieve. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.