Petty Officer 1st Class Bernard Washington, a native of Waldorf, Maryland, currently serving in the United States Navy, has taken the opportunity during Women’s History Month to reflect on the valuable contributions made by women in the military.
Women’s History Month is a month-long celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture, and society. It has been observed annually in the United States since 1987. Petty Officer Washington spoke about the impact of women on his life, saying, “I would not be where I am today without the impactful women I have met in my life.”
Washington went on to recognize his mother, Dottery Washington, and his daughter, Brooke, for their support and accomplishments. He also spoke about the significant milestone being celebrated this year, which is 50 years of women flying in the U.S. Navy.
In 1973, the first eight women began flight school in Pensacola, and one year later, six of them, known as “The First Six,” earned their “Wings of Gold.” Over the past 50 years, the Navy has expanded its roles for women to lead and serve globally, and today, women aviators project power from the sea in every type of Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aircraft.
Washington serves as a yeoman aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier operating out of Norfolk, Virginia. As a member of the U.S. Navy, Washington and other sailors know they are a part of a tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs, and humanitarian assistance.
“Serving in the Navy means everything to me,” added Washington. “I’m able to live the life I want and continue the family legacy serving our Nation.”
Women have been an integral part of the military for many years, and their contributions continue to shape and strengthen the United States Armed Forces.