SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Diversity Committee held a Women's History Month celebration in the hangar bay, March 16.
This year's program, themed "Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government", featured a cake-cutting ceremony and a speech from former Carl Vinson command master chief, Master Chief April Beldo, who is currently the Navy's Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education(MPT&E) Fleet Master Chief.
"This month we pause to acknowledge all women in public service and government, and we remember those who have gone before us, opening the door of opportunity," said Beldo. "These women laid the foundation and paved the way so that female Sailors are able to serve as they choose today. Now, there is no longer any restriction on any occupation within our Navy, and nothing stands in our way."
Capt. Karl Thomas, Carl Vinson commanding officer, discussed the importance of having women as a part of our nation's fighting force.
"We have come a long, long way over the years," said Thomas. "I deployed on Carl Vinson in 1988 with an all-male crew, and I can say that we are now much better-equipped with the full integration of women among our crew."
During the event, speakers mentioned the importance of women's roles throughout the Navy's history, highlighting key role models and 'trailblazers' who furthered the prominence of women serving in the armed forces.
To further exemplify the tradition of women serving in the Navy, Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) 2nd Class Britanny Engbrecht reenlisted during the event, with Beldo as her witness.
"As the first woman in my family to ever enlist in the military, I feel great pride today," said Engbrecht. "I feel it's very important for women in the military to carry on the tradition and show other women that they are just as capable as anyone else, regardless of gender."
USS Carl Vinson is currently pierside in its homeport of San Diego.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.