Nimitz Plays Key Role in Navy Region Northwest Women's Symposium

Story Number: NNS160318-03Release Date: 3/18/2016 9:38:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Lauren K. Jennings, USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Public Affairs

KEYPORT, Wash. (NNS) -- Senior Chief Logistics Specialist Stephanie Lerette assigned to USS Nimitz (CVN 68) was one of several women from around the fleet to speak at a women's symposium held March 15 at the Naval Undersea Warfare Museum auditorium in Keyport, Wash.

The symposium, a Navy Region Northwest-wide event, was held during Women's History Month to celebrate women in the Naval service. Attendees were able to hear accounts from active and retired Sailors on what their careers were like and how they managed to balance work and life.

Other speakers included Chief Logistician for the Naval Undersea Warfare Command (NUWC) Keyport Michele Burk, a former commanding officer, executive officer and executive director for NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Puget Sound and Lt. Cmdr. Britta Christianson, director of logistic operations for NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Puget Sound.

Burk remarked on how the choices she made and her perservance allowed her to rise up the ranks as a female officer in a time when women weren't as accepted in the military as they are today.

Christianson showed how jumping on rare opportunities and having the drive and willpower to achieve helped her travel to places like Afghanistan and Antarctica while also qualifying as a naval flight officer, the first woman assigned to a submarine and the first woman qualified as diving officer of the watch.

Though Lerette could not speak on how it is to be an officer, she could still speak greatly on what it's like to be a woman and a mother in the Navy.

"I had just as much to prove coming to an afloat command just a few years ago that only had two other female chiefs at the time," said Lerette. "It can be hard when you're few of many or when you're a single parent like me."

All the speakers gave an affirmative "no" when asked if they thought moving their families could have a detrimental impact on their lives.

"Moving is not hard," said Burk. "But it's different for every family. It's easy to homestead, to stay in one location. In the Navy, you have the chance to move together and still see the world."

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