JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Military and civilian personnel aboard Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS Jax) celebrated and recognized the historic accomplishments of women in the military during a luncheon at the NAS Jax Officers' Club, March 30.
The theme for the event, "Our History is our Strength," gave Sailors and civilians an opportunity to learn about accomplishments of brave and inspirational women that dared to be different and inspired others with their courage.
Hosted by the NAS Jax Multi-Cultural Awareness Committee, the event featured a slideshow of famous women throughout history.
This year's guest speaker was Cmdr. Molly Boron, incoming Patrol Squadron 16 executive officer.
NAS Jax Commanding Officer Capt. Jeffery Maclay opened the ceremony by recognizing women who are actively involved in leadership roles with extraordinary and historic importance.
Maclay spoke about diversity and how important women's roles are in leadership positions. He then introduced Boron to the podium.
Boron recalled how she was in high school when the movie "Top Gun" came out, and she decided then that she wanted to become a naval fighter pilot. At the time however, there were no women fighter pilots. It was not until she was attending the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) that the 1994 National Defense Authorization Act lifted the restriction on women in combat fighter squadrons.
Since graduating from USNA in 1995, Boron has assumed several leadership positions throughout her career.
"My hope is that we recognize the women who served before us and weren't recognized until later on," said Boron. "I want young men and women to learn about our history and have an appreciation for the benefits and the opportunities we have now."
She also recognized several women in the audience who served as Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) and helped pave the way for other women serving in the military.
"It's nice to come to events like this and learn there are so many successful women in the United States Navy," said Aviation Electronic's Technician 2nd Class Crystal Coats. "It's really encouraging, and it makes me want to work even harder to obtain my goals after the event."
For more news from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, visit www.navy.mil/local/nasjax/.