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Alene Bertha Duerk

Rear Adm. Alene Bertha Duerk was the first woman promoted to admiral in the U.S. Navy in 1972. She heard the news about her promotion to rear admiral on the radio in her car. From that time on, she was not only an admiral, but she was a spokeswoman for all women in the Navy. In that role, she frequently made appearances and statements in support of Navy women, fighting for pay increases, better conditions, and recruiting nurses. She was also the director of the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps from 1970 to 1975. Duerk is the 1974 recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Award from the Case Western Reserve University Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. She retired from active duty in 1975 after 32 years of service.

Last Updated: 29 March 2023



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