Feb 28

March is here: Celebrate Women's History

Thursday, February 28, 2019 2:58 PM


It’s March: Women’s History Month, and a time to contemplate & celebrate the advances that women have made in our profession and in all professions. With that in mind, I’ve selected some special readings from the Naval Institute’s archive which I hope will inspire you to learn about women’s history, to embrace your leadership roles confidently & to mentor women who are starting out in their careers.

Sarah Edmonds

Sarah Edmonds leaves the hospital tents for the battlefield, in a Civil War–era engraving. Before serving as a nurse, she had disguised herself as a man and enlisted in a Union infantry regiment, becoming one of about 400 women to participate directly in the conflict.


Below are just a tiny sample of writings on the topic of Women serving in the military that I found in the Naval Institute’s digital magazine archive which I hope you will enjoy. As a former Naval Officer, myself, I could spend hours reading these, and smiling to myself about the progress that has been made and the attitudes that have changed and that continue to evolve. If you are a Naval Institute member, you can find them and read them here on our new website. If not, I invite you to join and become a member of our independent forum!

Old Navy: Women in a Warship by Harold D. Langley, Naval Institute Proceedings, January 1984

Thirteen Women in a Submarine by Captain T. C. Parker, U.S.N (Ret), Naval Institute Proceedings, July 1950

Notebook – Women Line Officers Assigned to Sea Duty on Hospital Ship, Naval Institute Proceedings, November 1972 (Washington Post, August 9, 1972) USS Sanctuary

Answering the Call: For a Woman of My Generation, Serving in the Military Was a Godsend by Mary E. Lyons, Naval Institute Proceedings, August 2011

Leadership Forum: Lucy and Linus in the Wardroom by Lieutenant Christopher I. Xenakis, Chaplain Corps, U.S. Naval Reserve

Nobody Asked Me But…Professionalism Vs. Sexuality by Lieutenant commander Patrick Vincent, U.S. Naval Reserve, Naval Institute Proceedings, January 1998

It’s Time to Face the Gender Paradox by Mackubin Thomas Owens, Naval Institute Proceedings, July 1998

Forgotten Pioneers by Lieutenant Andrea N. Goldstein, U.S. Navy Reserve, Naval History magazine, December 2016

Skirting the Issue by Lieutenant Nicole Scherer, U.S. Navy, Naval Institute Proceedings, July 2017

Planners Need to Take Gender into Account by Lieutenant Andrea N. Goldstein, U.S. Navy Reserve, Naval Institute Proceedings, February 2016


Captain Kristy McCallum, right, commanding officer of the USS Green Bay (LPD-20), asks Ensign Adrienne Pancacik for an update as they depart Okinawa on 7 March. Only 11 of 238 combatant ships in service have a female CO, and the Navy loses female officers to attrition “at a rate double that of men in the unrestricted line.” The authors believe this “demonstrates that we are under-leveraging our personnel assets.”


This is just a sample of what we hold in our archive on the subject of women in the military. We in the archives are extremely proud of our vast holdings, and I invite you to browse through them for yourself! Be sure to check out our superb Oral History transcripts, too.