Panelists Speak at Women's Equality Month Conference

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Story Number: NNS140827-13Release Date: 8/27/2014 3:05:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jules Stobaugh, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Panelists from the Navy and Marine Corps spoke with Sailors, Marines, and civilians during the Women's Equality Month conference in the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon, Aug. 26.

Rear Adm. Katherine Gregory, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Andrea Brotherton, deputy naval inspector general, and Sgt. Maj. Angela Maness, Marine Barracks Washington D.C. made remarks about how they personally see women's achievements, roles, and the future of women in the Department of the Navy.

"I came in the Navy back in 1978," said Gregory. "This kind of event would never have happened back in that Navy. And so that really speaks to how far we've come."

The panelists encouraged female service members to be themselves, not change for anyone and never give up on their goals.

"You have your personality, you have who you are," said Brotherton. "You don't need to try to be someone else. What you need to do is take those skills that you have and hone them and make them valuable to the organization because we all bring something that's different and contributes to the whole and that's what makes it great."

They also shared inspirations in their lives that have driven them to continue their careers, not give up hope, and become great leaders.

"Our parents are just everything for all of us," said Maness. "My father was a marine so I wanted to follow in his footsteps, my dad inspired everything that I do, but currently it is my mother who is the one that inspires me today. After raising five children, one that went in the Army, two that were marines, and the other two, total civilians, but supporters of marines, she's the one, with my dad, two separate deployments to Vietnam, she raised all five of us on her own."

Women first entered naval service in 1908 with the establishment of the Navy Nurse Corps, 12 years before women were granted the right to vote. Women continued to serve in the Navy in varying capacities throughout World War I and World War II, but it was not until June 12, 1948, with the passage of the Women's Armed Services Integration Act that women gained permanent status in the U.S. armed services. The first six enlisted women were sworn into regular U.S. Navy service July 7, 1948. Four months later the first eight female naval officers were commissioned Oct. 15, 1948.

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