OBSERVANCE OF WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH 2013

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SUBJ: OBSERVANCE OF WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH 2013 UNCLASSIFIED/ PASS TO ALL 
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NAVADMIN 039/13

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SUBJ/OBSERVANCE OF WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH 2013//



RMKS/1.  THIS NAVADMIN ANNOUNCES THE NATIONAL OBSERVANCE OF WOMEN'S HISTORY 
MONTH, 1-31 MARCH 2013.  THE NATIONAL AND DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE THEME FOR THIS 
YEAR'S OBSERVANCE IS "WOMEN INSPIRING INNOVATION THROUGH IMAGINATION:  
CELEBRATING WOMEN IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICS (STEM)".

2.  WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH ORIGINATED IN 1978, WHEN THE SONOMA COUNTY
(CALIFORNIA) COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN INITIATED A WOMEN'S HISTORY 
WEEK TO COINCIDE WITH INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY.  IN 1981, IN RESPONSE TO 
GROWING SUPPORT FOR THE WEEK, CONGRESS PASSED A JOINT RESOLUTION PROCLAIMING A 
WOMEN'S HISTORY WEEK.  IN 1987, THE NATIONAL WOMEN'S HISTORY PROJECT, A NON-
PROFIT ORGANIZATION DEDICATED TO HONORING AND PRESERVING WOMEN'S HISTORY, 
PETITIONED CONGRESS TO EXPAND THE CELEBRATION TO THE ENTIRE MONTH OF MARCH.  
SINCE THEN, NATIONAL WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH HAS COMMEMORATED THE DIVERSE 
CONTRIBUTIONS WOMEN HAVE MADE, AND CONTINUE TO MAKE, TO OUR NATION.

3.  TODAY, WOMEN IN OUR NAVY MAKE UP 17.3 PERCENT OF THE ACTIVE AND RESERVE 
FORCES, WITH MORE THAN 54,000 WOMEN SERVING ON ACTIVE DUTY AND MORE THAN 
10,000 SERVING IN THE NAVY RESERVE.  NEARLY 59,000 WOMEN SERVE IN A WIDE RANGE 
OF SPECIALTIES AS NAVY CIVILIANS.  WOMEN MAKE NUMEROUS CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE 
NAVY'S MISSION AND FLEET OPERATIONS.  THERE ARE CURRENTLY 33 ACTIVE AND 
RESERVE FEMALE FLAG OFFICERS, 67 FEMALE SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICE MEMBERS, 56 
FEMALE COMMAND MASTER CHIEFS AND SIX FEMALE COMMAND SENIOR CHIEFS LEADING FROM 
THE FRONT.  NINETY-FIVE PERCENT OF NAVY BILLETS ARE OPEN TO WOMEN, AND WOMEN 
ARE ROUTINELY ASSIGNED TO SHIPS, AFLOAT STAFFS, NAVAL CONSTRUCTION BATTALIONS, 
MEDICAL UNITS, AVIATION SQUADRONS AND, MOST RECENTLY, SUBMARINES.

4.  WOMEN BEGAN SERVING IN OUR NAVY YEARS BEFORE THE PASSAGE OF THE NINETEENTH 
AMENDMENT IN 1920 WHICH GRANTED WOMEN THE RIGHT TO VOTE.
WOMEN OFFICIALLY BEGAN SERVING IN THE NAVY WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NURSE 
CORPS IN 1908.  THE NAVY'S FIRST ENLISTED WOMEN, MORE COMMONLY KNOWN AS 
YEOMANETTES, PROVIDED CLERICAL SUPPORT DURING WORLD WAR I.  HOWEVER, IT WAS 
NOT UNTIL THE PASSAGE OF THE WOMEN'S ARMED SERVICES INTEGRATION ACT ON 12 JUNE 
1948 THAT WOMEN GAINED PERMANENT STATUS IN THE ARMED SERVICES.  IN 1978, 
CONGRESS APPROVED A CHANGE TO TITLE 10 USC SECTION 6015 WHICH ALLOWED WOMEN TO 
BEGIN FILLING SEA DUTY BILLETS ON SELECTED NON-COMBATANT SHIPS.  OPPORTUNITIES 
WERE LATER EXPANDED IN 1994 TO INCLUDE SERVICE ON COMBATANT SHIPS AND 
SQUADRONS FOLLOWING THE REPEAL OF THE COMBAT EXCLUSION LAW.  IN APRIL 2010, 
THE NAVY ANNOUNCED A POLICY CHANGE TO ALLOW WOMEN TO BEGIN SERVING ON 
SUBMARINES.  ON 24 JANUARY 2013, DEFENSE SECRETARY LEON E. PANETTA AND 
CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF, GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY ANNOUNCED THE 
RESCISSION OF THE 1994 DIRECT GROUND COMBAT DEFINITION AND ASSIGNMENT RULE.  
THE RESCISSION STATES THE COMMITMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE TO REMOVE 
GENDER-BASED BARRIERS TO SERVICE.  AS A RESULT OF THIS ANNOUNCEMENT, THE NAVY 
IS CURRENTLY DEVELOPING PLANS TO MOVE FORWARD IN OPENING ALL POSITIONS 
PREVIOUSLY CLOSED TO THE  ASSIGNMENT OF WOMEN.

5.  NAVY WOMEN CONTINUE TO INFLUENCE, IMPACT, AND MAKE HISTORY IN OUR NAVY 
TODAY WITH THEIR SPIRITED AND COURAGEOUS EFFORTS, JUST AS THE WOMEN WHO PAVED 
THE WAY BEFORE THEM.  IN MARCH 2012, COMMAND MASTER CHIEF JOANN ORTLOFF WAS 
SELECTED TO SERVE AS THE FLEET MASTER CHIEF OF NAVAL FORCES EUROPE AND NAVAL 
FORCES AFRICA.  FLTCM ORTLOFF IS ONLY THE SECOND WOMAN IN HISTORY TO SERVE AS 
A FLEET MASTER CHIEF.  IN DECEMBER 2012, LTJG MARQUETTE LEVEQUE, LTJG AMBER 
COWAN AND LTJG JENNIFER NOONAN BECAME THE FIRST FEMALE UNRESTRICTED LINE 
OFFICERS TO QUALIFY IN SUBMARINES AND RECEIVE THEIR "DOLPHINS."  IN JANUARY 
2013, CAPT SARA JOYNER BECAME THE FIRST WOMAN TO SERVE AS THE COMMANDER OF A 
CARRIER AIR WING.  IN MARCH 2013, FORCE MASTER CHIEF APRIL BELDO WILL ASSUME 
DUTIES AS THE MANPOWER, PERSONNEL, TRAINING, AND EDUCATION (MPT&E) FLEET 
MASTER CHIEF.
SHE IS THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN TO BECOME A FLEET MASTER CHIEF.
UPON ASSUMING THIS POSITION, TWO OUT OF ONLY FOUR FLEET MASTER CHIEF POSITIONS 
WILL BE HELD BY WOMEN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY.

6.  ALL COMMANDS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO INCREASE THEIR KNOWLEDGE AND 
AWARENESS OF THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF WOMEN TO OUR NAVY AND NATION BY CELEBRATING 
WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH WITH PROGRAMS, EXHIBITS, PUBLICATIONS AND PARTICIPATION 
IN MILITARY AND COMMUNITY EVENTS.  MATERIALS ON THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN NAVAL 
HISTORY CAN BE FOUND AT HTTP://WWW.HISTORY.NAV Y.MIL/ 
SPECIAL%20HIGHLIGHTS/WOMEN/WOMEN-INDEX.HTM AND 
HTTP://WWW.PUBLIC.NAVY.MIL/BUPERS-
NPC/ORGANIZATION/BUPERS/WOMENSPOLICY/PAGES/WOMENSHISTORYMONTH.ASPX.  
INFORMATION ON THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF WOMEN TO OUR NATION'S LEGACY CAN BE FOUND 
AT HTTP://WOMENSHISTORYMONTH.GOV/ AND HTTP://NWHP.ORG/.

7.  MORE INFORMATION ON THE OFFICE OF WOMEN'S POLICY AND EVENTS, OBSERVANCES, 
POLICIES, AND INSTRUCTIONS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE NAVY QQQQ OFFICE OF WOMEN'S 
POLICY (N134W) WEBSITE AT HTTP://WWW.PUBLIC.NAVY.MI L /BUPERS-
NPC/ORGANIZATION/BUPERS/WOMENSPOLICY/.

8.  POINT OF CONTACT IS OSC JESSICA MYERS, OPNAV N134W, AT
(703) 604-5482/DSN 664 OR VIA E-MAIL AT JESSICA.MYERS(AT)NAVY.MIL.

9.  RELEASED BY VICE ADMIRAL S. R. VAN BUSKIRK, N1.//

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