Be There

by Michele (Cruz) Phillips, ’98

The Sisterhood of Mother B online community was started by members of Great ‘98 and is a result of the camaraderie felt during our 20th Reunion Women’s Brunch. Many of us felt that brunch was the highlight of the weekend, which it was – a happy one. But there is another event from that weekend that has been just as memorable and with lasting effect: our Memorial Service held at the World War II Memorial.

At the top of the hill with our academy in view was a wonderful place to honor, celebrate, and mourn our Fallen Classmates. It was a reminder that all life is unpredictable, but for those in service, the risks are especially high. Our Brigade Commander, Reuben Brigety ‘95, was our guest speaker.  He reminded us to not only celebrate our accomplishments together, but to support one another in life’s toughest times. Many of us have already experienced career failures, illness, divorce, the loss of a spouse or child. It’s during these times we need to show up and be there for one another.

After his speech, Jenn Marino bravely took the stage to read the names of those we have lost.
18 names.
4 operational losses.
7 of the remaining 14 chose to take their own lives.

When we think of those classmates who felt there was no other way to stop the way they were feeling, we have to ask: How? Why? What can we do? And from here, the ‘98 Suicide Action Group was formed. Under the leadership of our Class President Dave Foreman, Great ‘98 partnered with Objective Zero. Objective Zero is the top suicide prevention, behavioral and mental health, wellness, and peer-to- peer support mobile app for military veterans. One feature it did not have was the ability to search by school and class year. Thanks to those who donated close to $15,000 to our class fundraiser, Objective Zero added this feature, and it is now available. We invite you to join us.

The app allows a person to instantly connect with an OZ ambassador with a background of their choosing; filters include branch of service, MOS, school, gender, age, distance and others. To be an ambassador, you need to watch a 30 min training video and take a short quiz.  You then commit to make yourself available for 30 minutes a week should someone find themselves in need of personal support. Even if being an ambassador isn’t for you, we encourage you to get the app and log in.  There are amazing resources for both prevention and crises, and the theme is that we never know when we may need some help.

The Sisterhood of Mother B and the Suicide Action Group were results of the bonds reclaimed at our 20th Reunion. Both remind us how connection is so important to our emotional wellbeing. I am excited to see what else our class will do, but for now we commit to BE THERE.

download OZ App here: https://www.objectivezero.org/app

Waltzing Around Change- Recollections of Plebe Year Ballroom Dancing

by Jillian Danback McGhan ’06

Culture is a pervasive, powerful force in organizations that can divide or unify. It is undeniably amorphous, but no less real than other more visible factors.

Which brings me to ballroom dancing.

Allow me to explain.

On a slow work day, my colleagues and I struck up a conversation about talents we wish we had. A few of my co-workers agreed upon ballroom dancing.

“How elegant would it be to just glide through a crowd like that,” sighed Emily,visions of full gowns and gentlemen in sashes reflecting in her eyes.

“Ugh, they made us ballroom dance in college” And by college, I meant the US Naval Academy.

“Did they? Oh my gosh, that must’ve been great! Did you dress up?” Laura squealed in enthusiasm, practically conjuring beaded bodices and glittering jewelry.

I paused to consider the compulsory Plebe year PT uniform: the blue rim t-shirt made of pitted, cheap cotton that was too short in the torso and too tight in the arms; blue, knee length mesh shorts with a weak elastic waistband that lacked any discernible crotch; white tube socks pulled up to the mid-calf; and white trainers with large, stiff laces that formed awkward loops.

“No.”

“Wait, aren’t there only, like, five women who go to the academy every year? You got to dance with all those men?” Emily asked, no doubt imagining tall, strapping men in dress whites bowing low before taking my hand and whisking me around a marble floor. I barely had the heart to tell her we practiced in an old gymnasium with faded basketball court lines.

“Well, yeah, that was the problem.” I replied, shuddering as I recalled the rows of clammy palmed guys either squeezing the blood from my hand out of nervousness or taking such a loose grip I thought I was holding a dead rodent. The best dance partners would make a joke about the absurdity of the situation and just avoid talking. Others would let a hostile awkwardness sink between us.  One partner avoided eye contact throughout our sad attempt at the foxtrot, lest looking directly into the eyes of a female Mid turn him to stone. An odious, and thankfully few, attempts at lascivious or insulting comment commentary were met with vicious retort. Few of us female Mids were in any mood for that, conscripted dance dummies or not.

“I will rip your arm off and work my way through the rest of your limbs,” I recall hearing my roommate threaten one particular partner after he made an indecent proposition. Jane Austen certainly never wrote that into her dance scenes, but I’d like to think she’d approve.

The jarring recollection of this bizarre chapter in Academy life seemed so strange that I started to believe that I imagined the whole episode: lining up early on a Saturday morning, our shorts hiked up to our rib cages, to do the waltz and cha cha under the disapproving glare of our (possibly hungover) company officers and two overly enthusiastic dance instructors who would always cheerily encourage us to “limber up before you step it out”. Well-intentioned or not, I still possessed the strong urge to hit them both over the head. And while there were a few more than five women in our class as Emily suggested, we were outnumbered by about 15:1. Which meant we had to dance with them. All. Of. Them. A literal battalion of men.

Later that evening, I texted several of the women from my company to confirm these memories. Their responses arrived in quick succession:

“Ugh… what made you think of that?”

“Yeah! So awkward!”

“Remember when I told that guy I’d rip his arm off :)”

I breathed a momentary sigh of relief that I was not, in fact, losing my grip on reality. Yet that relief was quickly overcome by angry incredulity. Who on earth thought this was a good idea? Were we preparing to welcome the second coming of Napoleon with a soiree?

In 2002, when the great class of 2006 was plebes, ballroom dancing was one part of our larger etiquette-training curriculum. Many a pre-liberty weekend hour was dedicated to the intricacies of stationary font and embossing, which fork to use at formal dinners, and what titles to use for high-ranking military and civilian officials, foreign diplomats, politicians, and orthodox shamans. In retrospect, as much as we groaned at the prospect of attending these sessions, many demonstrated their value as our careers progressed. After all, the military is perhaps the world’s last true social equalizer, and these skills offered a type of privileged pragmatic value. Many of my classmates later admitted their appreciation for these sessions years later. But… ballroom dancing? Even John Paul Jones rolled his eyes in his crypt.

For added context, we were plebe ballroom dancers barely a full year after the events of 9/11. The nature of warfare itself was evolving, and the intersection of culture and combat in brighter relief than ever before. This desperate attempt to cling to the last anachronistic vestiges of “what it meant to be an officer” was as wasteful as it was impractical. Not to mention that the dated, platonic ideal of a Naval officer we were instructed to replicate was, highly problematic. By being relegated to the ranks of dancing partner, the women in my class were rewarded for their passivity.  We were being “good sports”, per our instructors’ compliments, acting as props for our male counterparts’ edification. This sent the message, however subtle, that their learning was prioritized over ours. We were being trained to enter a world where men led on the dance floor, and everywhere else, and our most valuable contribution was to be a good sport and accept the next sweaty hand extended in our direction.

To their credit, nearly all the men I spoke with on the topic found ballroom dancing as ridiculous as we did. These men resented that they were the inadvertent instruments of our embarrassment. Some even admitted feeling helpless to do anything that improved the situation: hence, the feeble attempts at humor we were not in the mood to accept. One classmate mentioned a time he started dancing with his roommate as a joke, to be instantly shut down by a hovering company officer. A male-male coupling in 2002, even in jest, was no joking matter: many a career- and many a life- was ruined over it. Besides, this was supposed to be our professional education. As he chagrinned, “Ballroom dancing was a serious business.”

Even as Plebes, we intuitively recognized this focus on etiquette as a faultline in the Navy’s culture and responded with our only weapon against authority: mockery.

What my classmates and I observed in these lesson was an organization standing at the precipice of cultural change. Over the next few years, our class would witness several initiatives intended to instill greater gender equality. Some yielded visible change, such as the advent of sexual harassment task forces and greater attention to gender representation in Midshipmen leadership positions. Others invoked more ire than influence, such as changing to the lyrics of “Blue and Gold” and adopting gender neutral covers. At that moment, what we observed was an institution so tightly tied to its heritage that it refused to surrender even the more ridiculous nuances of its past. Perhaps it was a reaction to the portents of change that would occur over the next four years. The squeaks of our sneakers in time to the scratchy music playing on the cheap speakers signaled our outward compliance. But our rejection of this model of a naval officer we were expected to emulate was an incremental step in gradually constructing a new one.

In my post-Navy work as a management consultant, my clients are frequently troubled by cultural disconnects within their organizations. These organizations struggle with tensions between their past and their future: who they think they are and who they need to be. They are right to be concerned: cultural disparity between employees and organization directly contributes to diminished employee satisfaction, lower job performance, and increased staff attrition. Yet all my commercial clients combined do not have nearly as much at stake as the Navy does. The Academy, much like the Navy, will always possess its own unique culture formed by its years of rich tradition and heritage. No one is suggesting that this history be abandoned, but for better or worse, that culture is also shaped, and changed, from within. As such, our collective rejection of the waltzing Naval officer represented a small act of subversion; our own contribution to shaping the Navy’s culture long before we were ever commissioned.

The truth is, cultural disparity within an organization need not manifest as a battle at all. When it comes to our values, we’ve been conditioned to perceive everything new as an existential threat (after all, we did seem to enjoy boxing much more than dancing). What choice exists but to fight change to the death? Perhaps this should be the lesson we take away from our profoundly absurd ballroom dancing lessons. Cultural shifts need not be a sparring match, but rather a dance. There is an inherent give and take for both parties involved, a productive tension that, much like a waltz, can create something beautiful… That is, when not performed by Plebes in PT gear.

Did your class have to participate in etiquette training? Did you actually enjoy ballroom dancing? Let’s hear from you in the comments below!

Two Pairs of Shoes

by Captain David S. Forman, ’98
(As published in SHIPMATE March 2019, pg17)

“You’ve been shot by a girl!” rang out in the submarine control room after we heard a woman’s voice on the underwater telephone call out the codeword for “I just shot a torpedo” during a submarine versus submarine exercise with the Australians. I was a junior officer, and the Officer of the Deck was quite embarrassed.

Years later, as a department head, my wardroom discussed women eventually joining the U.S. submarine force. I childishly stated to my fellow officers, “The day women join the submarine force is the day I get out of the Navy.”

Well, thankfully, women joined the submarine force, and I’m still in the Navy. In fact, when I received orders to command ALASKA (BLUE), I was disappointed I would not have the opportunity to serve with an integrated crew. What changed my mind? The Naval Academy did.

After my department head tour I became the Flag Secretary for the Superintendent. In preparation for follow-on orders as executive officer, when I could have been assigned to an integrated crew, I listened to senior female Academy leaders and attended several symposiums about women in the Navy. I came to fully appreciate what women offered and better understood the Navy from their point of view. That education mattered.

Fast-forward to our 20th reunion. Classmate Susan Balcirak ’98 ask for my help adding a women’s brunch to our reunion itinerary. As class president, I was happy to help, and the event was an overwhelming success. By reconnecting as a group, ’98 women felt a synergy that none anticipated.

Their inspiration to continue to support each other and other women associated with USNA led them to create “The Sisterhood of Mother B.” They will be thought leaders for women in military through blogs, podcasts, social media and outreach events.

The need for such a group is clearer than ever. The Navy is competing for talent against myriad forces, and we need every capable sailor and officer we can get. Despite how far we’ve come on many equality fronts, we are not done yet.

As one example, a female colleague of mine is an essential contributor to a national security project. While working with her in the Pentagon, I noticed that she had two pair of shoes…one for walking at a hurried pace (like we usually do in that building), and another for the actual meeting. It’s a small anecdote, but she’s not the only woman who does that. Something is not right if men get by in the workplace with one pair and women need two.

Between two pairs of shoes, along with my more than 20 years of submarine service, I know first-hand that good people matter. The only way we’ll maintain a preeminent Naval Academy and Navy/Marine Corps team is to support and develop the few people who are qualified and agree to serve. I’m honored to call myself a classmate of the amazing women who started “The Sisterhood of Mother B” who will help do exactly that.

It’s Our Story to Tell

by Beth Ann (Thomas) Vann, ’98

Times certainly changed, thank goodness for that! What happened in the 43 years since women joined Annapolis in 1976 is simply remarkable and yet, not anywhere near where it should be all at the same time. This fact inspired seven members of the class of 1998 nearly one year ago to ask each other and, thanks to overwhelming support, so many other graduates from the United States Naval Academy questions about how WE got here and how WE best continue to make a difference in the Fleet in and out of uniform. We teamed up with the Women’s SIG as WE also challenge each other to create, navigate, and support the journey for impacting our communities given the lessons and opportunities thrust upon us, gifted to us, and the networks WE cultivated in the fleet, on the Yard, an in our time beyond uniformed service.

It’s no secret that SOMB focuses on the Sisterhood in great part because some feel we neglected that bond for part of our lives in order to fit into the Brotherhood. We did not realize at the time that both could and should exist and are NOT mutually exclusive. What we continue to discover on this journey with and for you is that we CAN and ARE making a difference by telling our stories. You know the stories you never told for fear that “they” would judge you for good or bad. Often, the hardest part of this journey is the self-awareness that “they” are empowered by our own fear, isolation, and silence. Most importantly we highlight that our journeys are more similar than not in both challenges and victories. WE are stronger together bonded in common purpose and valuing all the diversity WE bring to the table. While times are different and, in many ways, better, our herstory is powerful and holds insight for the how, why, when, and what next to ensure the future grows exponentially for not just the Sisterhood but for all who she (WE) influences. Graduates of the Naval Academy, the Sisterhood of Mother B is here for you – Our site includes articles and a podcast!! WE want to tell your story because it is part of our story.

Want to write an article/blog post, we’ll help!!

How about submit a Waypoint? Waypoints – Take a “fix” – a photo that represents your current waypoint or a significant one on your path.

How about recall something fun, funny, serious, or maddening about the past? Throw Back Thursdays – Do you have a memory or a picture that’s fun, thought provoking, or both? Send it to us and be featured as part of TBT!!

Share your story – about your time at USNA, or how USNA has affected your life, for better or worse. Tell us your challenges and how you overcame. Share your bonds of Sisterhood. Share the story of the mid who grew up to become your spouse.

All submissions are edited for grammar, spelling, and clarity – editors work closely with authors to ensure pieces are publication ready. There are no monetary prizes for publication – payment comes in the form of lessons, influence, and empowerment.

If you wish to remain anonymous we honor that as well.

Please send all submissions to sisterhoodofmotherb.editor@gmail.com

Class of ’80 Experience in the Fleet

compiled by Shannon Martin McClain, ’98

Women from the Class of 1980 recognized at the Navy Football game during the 2016 Athena Conference, celebrating 40 years of women at USNA (all service academies).

A few months ago, I reached out to the women of the Class of 1980 to ask them a series of questions and capture memories from their time at the Naval Academy, in the Fleet and beyond their service.  Fourteen women agreed to have their responses included in a series of stories by the Sisterhood of Mother B. Since the the summer is flying by, and the Class of 2019 is heading into the “real world,” it seemed a good time to explore the Class of ’80’s experiences in the Fleet.

The respondents, all of whom served in the Navy, include aviators, an aviation engineering duty officer, a public affairs officer, officers from the Supply Corps and the Civil Engineering Corps, and General Unrestricted Line Officers.  Eight of the women retired from active or reserve service and two others served ten years or more. As we will see through this and future stories, they embody the mission of the Naval Academy.

Their recollections display a wide variety  of experiences.  Many of their challenges and and triumphs may seem familiar.  I chose to start with a difficult memory they are willing to share.  These memories fall into four categories:  home life, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and professional setbacks.

Home Life

As happens in life, some faced challenges at home – whether the breakup of a marriage or the loss of a child. Peggy Feldmann shared her experience with miscarriage.  At 43 while serving as a Commanding Officer, she miscarried a set of twins. She focused on her job and did not take time to grieve.  Peggy’s take away, “I should have listened to those who had been through the experience and taken time for myself.”  One of our Silent Sisters shared the experience of dropping her first child off at the base day care.  Our sister was a 23 year old Ensign and her daughter just seven weeks old.  She wondered how she would get through the next day, the next week, the next years.  Liz Row wrote of her divorce and caring for her child born in the year prior to the divorce. “Looking back, I wouldn’t want it any other way, but then I wondered if I’d get through it.”

Sexual Harassment

Both Sharon Disher and Susan Cabral experienced sexual harassment from an executive officer.  “My XO . . . tried to turn the tables and get me in trouble. He didn’t succeed and he got sent to a ship with predominately women which I thought was perfect!”  Susan’s experience did not have quite the triumphant ending as Sharon’s.  “At my second command, my XO made unprofessional advances towards me; and I felt trapped in not being able to speak out forcefully against it. I just ignored it.”

Not every experience falls so neatly into the realm of sexual harassment, but it still causes discomfort.  Carol Hoffman had a boss who asked her for rides to and from work.  “My boss never tried to touch me, just the fact that he asked made me uncomfortable, but I did it.  I was not strong enough to say no.  I was careful to maintain my distance from my boss at work and develop friendships with my co-workers.”

Gender Discrimination

Maureen Nunez went back to teach Professional Development at the Naval Academy in 1982 to provide women role models to the midshipmen. “I had hoped that by being an alum, my voice might be heard on issues related to the women mids.  I loved working with the young women, especially the fencing team, and I hoped that being there would give them someone to look to and say ‘she did it, so how hard can it be?’ Looking back, being there so soon after graduating was important, but not without its own perils.  There was still open disdain of women at the Academy, and mids would cross the street if they saw me coming so that they didn’t have to salute me.  I’m sure I looked directionally- challenged, as I would zig-zag across campus crossing the street to make sure the mid would face me and have to salute.  Saluting me didn’t kill any of them, to the best of my knowledge.”

One of our Silent Sisters shared her frustration working for a male Army officer of the same rank who didn’t like anything about her.  “He couldn’t wait to ruin my career. He almost did.  I survived, but it wasn’t easy.”

Jill Votaw’s most difficult memory was when she attrited from NFO training. “The squadron instructors were extremely anti-women in the cockpit.  One instructor, a Lieutenant, made it his mission to ‘down’ (fail) every female NFO student on her check ride (the final flight in a phase of training that had to be passed before going on to the next more difficult phase of training).  He didn’t like me, because I was a LTJG and not afraid of him like all the new Ensigns were.  I’d been in the fleet for two years when I went into NFO training, usually students are right out of USNA/ROTC/Aviation Officer Candidate training and still think LTs are gods.  I was ‘downed’ on my final check ride in the Basic phase of training, and even though I was #1 in the class in ground school (the book learning portion of training) I was kicked out.  I was supposed to have a simulator and a re-fly, but I didn’t get either, just got attrited. VT-10, the NFO training squadron, had a 50% attrition rate at that time, and 90% for the women.  Eventually the squadron CO and Wing Commodore were fired.”

Marjorie Morley, a Navy Pilot, encountered discrimination, but with a different result.  “Dealing with the prejudiced attitudes of many male pilots I served with was always the biggest challenge.  Once most of those pilots realized I worked as hard as they did and had the same goals and objectives as them, they usually accepted me and treated me well.”

Professional Setbacks

Many of the women experienced professional setbacks, whether instigated by gender discrimination or personality conflict. Barbette Lowndes related her disappointment at being passed over for Lieutenant Commander, but shared how she fought back to earn her gold oak leaf and eventually the rank of Captain.  Stef Goebel ran afoul of a boss who did not believe in her or support her. “That felt like a huge failure, and it took me a long time to work through.  Ultimately, [the experience] made me stronger.”

Tina D’Ercole’s difficult memory is followed by such a positive result.  “A Captain in the Navy for whom I worked refused to rank me according to performance. He said to the Commander that he would never rank a woman (1100) above the men who were “real” line officers.  This Commander took the Captain to task and almost got fired. He fought that the ranking must be by performance.  I was ranked #1 that cycle…..AND, he was not fired.”

And then there’s always a Janice Buxbaum in the group.  I am inspired every time I read her response to this question.  She wrote, “I have no difficult memories – I have memories of challenges I have risen to, others I have learned from, friends that I have leaned on and learned from . . . only memories of  love/friendship,  growth and purpose. For this as my truth,  I know I am lucky indeed!”

Even in their difficult memories, this first class of women offers us advice on how to do it better, on how to get through, on how to find the positive. I am thankful that these women chose to share their challenges with us.  It shows a common theme within the Sisterhood of Mother B – a need to make things better for ourselves, our peers and those who follow us. I did promise that there were good memories as well, though.  If we can learn from the difficult memories, let us be inspired by the best. Perhaps, it is best if I let their responses speak for themselves.

What is your best memory from your time in service?

Maureen Nunez – “I enjoyed being in the Maintenance Department of a Training Squadron in Pensacola and feeling as though I was contributing to the mission. I felt as though my USNA training had prepared me well, and I didn’t feel nearly as much of the animosity towards women as I had at the Academy.  There was a Senior Chief in my Division who taught me a great deal about the work and never made me feel as though I didn’t belong.  I will forever feel indebted to him for making me feel accepted and part of the mission.”

CAPT Lowndes

Barbette Lowndes – “My last three tours were so much fun; I wanted to leave on a high note with a positive attitude about my time in service.  [My best memory] is my command tour in Boston immediately after 9/11 and the love and support of my husband and two daughters.”

Peggy Feldmann – “[At] my first duty station, my first boss, a male LCDR, became my mentor. We accomplished some really great work, and traveled the world. I looked for a similar tour for many years, only to realize it was not the job, it was the people you were working with that mattered.  No matter where I was stationed, he (and his wife) would take me in for an advice session on life and work.”

Stef Goebel, Pearl Harbor, HI

Stef Goebel. – “Perhaps my best memory on active duty was getting involved with WOPA (the Women Officers Professional Association). In Hawaii, it was a tri-service organization, and I remember being so moved to see all the career fields represented by the women members compared to how limited the opportunities were around the time I reported to USNA. I was literally moved to tears to see all the wonderful things women were doing in the Armed Forces, especially as operators, in the early 90’s.  I was also moved to see them come together to network, to mentor and to support one another. I think because our time at USNA was so lonely with no upper class women, and almost no women staff and faculty, that I was especially touched by these scenes of all these very diverse women coming together and supporting one another.”

Jill Votaw, who transitioned to be a PAO after attriting from flight school – “So many – My squadron tours at HS-10 and HSL-35 as a LT, serving as escort officer for the filming of TOP GUN(meeting Tom Cruise, Tony Edwards, Meg Ryan …) and STAR TREK III(meeting Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols, all the ‘crew’ cast) –my 5 command tours as a Reserve PAO, serving at Navy Office of Information West in Hollywood and working with the folks on the set of JAG, being recalled for 4 months to serve as the Chief of Public Affairs at U.S. Strategic Command, serving as Deputy CHINFO for a month when the Marines invaded Baghdad … just so many.”

Sharon Disher  – “I loved being the second woman to command a Construction Battalion Unit.  It was my last tour of duty in the Navy and the best. I loved my Seabees!”

Tina D’Ercole  –  “A job which included fulfilling the role of Plant Representative while at the same time acting as Deputy Program Manager for a Major Program.  I experienced the most outstanding boss for whom I have ever had the privilege of working.”

Carol Hoffman – I” was assigned to three ships during my 27 year career.  It is so wonderful to help the crew by serving good meals, making sure the vending machines and ships store were well stocked, having/getting the right parts for operations and maintenance, paying the crew and stocking the ATMs.  Most of all my last ship, I was the pre-commissioning Supply Officer on USS IWO JIMA (LHD 7), and one of the first officers assigned to the pre-comm unit.  The supply-engineering-aviation maintenance departments are integral to each other’s success. The Chief Engineer (CHENG), AIMD Officer (Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Officer) and I teamed together from the beginning, setting the example for our departments to work together, not on a quid pro quo basis but because it was our jobs to support each other and the right thing to do.  I believe that influenced the ship’s success for many years following commissioning.”

A Silent Sister – “My tour in Hawaii, working with wonderful people in paradise.”

Janice Buxbaum – “Being given this wisdom and being able to  incorporate it into my core is the greatest gift I was ever given.”

A Silent Sister – “My best memory is standing up the first Navy security force (taking over from the Marines) at the Armed Forces Staff College.  We were a diverse group, many inexperienced (including me) and with a good MA chief and PO1, we managed to get it done.  I learned a lot, including how to work with senior enlisted experts and to lead.  We trained hard and worked hard developing the junior folks.  It was a place where I felt accepted as a professional for the most part.”

CAPT Rowe

Elizabeth Rowe – “My three years on the USS Samuel Gompers (AD-37) as a division officer and then a department head. I tell everyone that all the leadership I know came from those three years.”

Susan Cabral – “Being a part of the ALL-Navy Sports program allowed me to meet other service personnel – and get to play volleyball!”

Marjorie Morley – “I flew EC-130s in VQ-3 at NAS Barbers Point.  We performed an electronic warfare mission over the Pacific.  Occasionally, I had the opportunity to fly into Midway Island and Wake Island, for short deployments.  Flying to these remote islands, filled with Gooney birds and beautiful beaches was an amazing opportunity.”

Can you relate to any of these sentiments? Share your stories with us. We may have different viewpoints and come from different years, but I am often amazed at how much we have in common in our drive and our experiences. Thank you, women of the Class of ’80 for sharing your experiences.