SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, was the guest speaker for a female officer mentorship session at Naval Base San Diego, March 22.
As the first female commander of U.S. 3rd Fleet, Tyson constantly gets asked the question if there are any differences or challenges with being a woman in this position.
"For me it is not about being male or female, it's about being capable and qualified for a position," said Tyson. "Women are serving throughout our Navy like never before and it is because of their professionalism, productivity and eagerness to excel in the fleet. Navy leadership recognizes that we need to give young women the opportunities to pursue their dreams and lead Sailors."
During the session, Tyson discussed her career pipeline; the importance of taking care of our Sailors; and current policies and programs like spouse collocation, career intermission, maternity leave, education and corporate internships.
Lt. Adriana Gibson, an intelligence officer assigned to Expeditionary Strike Group 3, expressed her gratitude for the how the Navy has worked with her so that she could attain her personal and professional goals.
"As a mother of four sons (including a foster son) I was not sure if I was going to be able to juggle the life-work balance early in my career," said Gibson. "However, I learned that it's all about attitude and I am so grateful for what the Navy has allowed me to accomplish. Going up the ranks from E-1 to O-3E, earning my masters degree, and joining the intelligence community has all been an exciting and very rewarding adventure."
Tyson encouraged all the officers present to make the most of every day and to never lose the thirst for knowledge and fleet innovation.
"I am approaching 37 years in the Navy and it has all gone by so fast," said Tyson. "Now is a great time for history and for women because the door is wide open for all of you. When I first entered the Navy in 1979, positions for women were extremely limited. Having the opportunity to serve as a naval flight officer, as a navigator on USS Enterprise, and finally commanding USS Bataan seemed like a farfetched ambition at the beginning of my career."
According to Tyson, the fleet needs to invite innovation not only with personnel and diversity, but with technology as well.
"By evolving and modernizing the way we train, do maintenance, navigate and accomplish a mission, we will attract the best people in our Navy and retain them too," said Tyson.
Tyson also elaborated on U.S. 3rd Fleet having a more forward presence throughout the Pacific.
"Our presence in the Western Pacific provides stability," said Tyson. "We have to be prepared for any mission. Whether it be humanitarian assistance disaster relief, maritime security or anti-submarine warfare, U.S. 3rd Fleet assets will be ready to respond effectively."
At the conclusion of the mentorship session, Tyson thanked the group of aspiring female officers and encouraged them to "go, see, do and explore the world."
"I appreciate Vice Adm. Tyson coming and sharing her experiences with all of us today to provide insight on what it is like as a career woman, wife and mother in the U.S. Navy," said Gibson. "As she said, a Navy career is not an easy life, but it is definitely worth it."
For more information on Commander, U.S. 3rd. Fleet visit http://www.c3f.navy.mil/
For more news from Expeditionary Strike Group 3, visit www.navy.mil/local/esg3/.