The year 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of Women’s Integration into the Armed Forces. On June 12, 1948 President Harry S. Truman signed into law the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948; paving the way for women to officially serve in the military. This landmark legislation granted women the right to serve as regular, permanent members of the armed services.
The year 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of Women’s Integration into the Armed Forces. On June 12, 1948 President Harry S. Truman signed into law the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948; paving the way for women to officially serve in the military. This landmark legislation granted women the right to serve as regular, permanent members of the armed services.On this anniversary, Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support (NAVSUP WSS) celebrates the countless women who have fought tirelessly for the Navy and the armed forces as a whole. 75 years since that pivotal day of integration, the women of NAVSUP WSS share their experiences within the Navy and the stories behind why they decided to raise their right hand to fight for our country.Like many women, the Armed Forces presented an opportunity for growth and advancement. These benefits attracted many service-women to include Lt. Cmdr. Naomi Green of Sacramento, California.“I joined prior to 9/11, and was drawn to the Navy for the education and training opportunities. The Navy offered me opportunities for personal and professional development that, at the time, I would otherwise not have been afforded,” said Lt. Cmdr. Naomi Green, NAVSUP WSS, Big Deck Integrated Weapon Support Team (IWST) Director. “I stayed for patriotism and service. To serve my country and contribute to national security. I feel a sense of duty and want to make a positive impact by defending my country and supporting warfighters however I can.”For some women, a calling to serve was engrained in their blood. As was the case for Cmdr. Renae Renken of Canton, Kansas.“My father was in the Navy. He was part of the TIN can navy serving on the destroyer USS Radford back in the early 60’s, and so the family has some history with being in the Navy. Something that I'm very proud of is that, like my father, my first ship in the Navy was also a Destroyer,” said Cmdr. Renae Renken, NAVSUP WSS, Surface Operations IWST Director.“His first duty station was Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and my first duty station was Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. So, you can say that I was literally following in my father's footsteps,” Renken continued.For other women, joining the Navy was a coping mechanism for tragedies that had taken place in their lives. This was the case for Petty Officer 1st Class Courtney Sizemore-Morris of Edgewood, Kentucky.“In high school, I always pushed myself physically through involvement in varsity sports and extracurricular activities. During my senior year, I received the tragic news that both of my parents had passed,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Sizemore-Morris, NAVSUP WSS, Carrier (CVN) IWST, on-time delivery lead.“I attended the University of Toledo for a semester, attempting to cope by going forward with life. My main interests were training at the gym and indulging in vices. Yet, I realized that I needed to pursue more than just physical accomplishments and challenge myself mentally. This began my journey into the Navy. There was not a legacy of military service in my family but being the first to join the armed forces encouraged me. I transitioned from profound grief over losing my loved ones to finding an invaluable new family in the Navy,” Sizemore-Morris continued.Though every woman may have a different personal reason for why they joined the military, the end result remains the same; women creating a profound history.“I think it's important to recognize that we have been an important part of history,” said Renken. “You can go back to Rosie the Riveter during World War II when women left their homes to help the war fighter. Some would say that was our first beginnings to inclusivity and being able to serve our country. I think it's important to recognize the glass ceilings that we have broken with the ability to be included from aviation, from mixed gender on board the ships, to the ability of having women serve in the submarine force. We are showing that we have the ability to stand beside our male counterparts and play a critical part in service to our country,” Renken continued.By continuing to acknowledge the importance of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948 and the strides that Navy women have made over the last 75 years we continue to show future service women a sense of “what is possible” within the armed forces.“We’re inspiring future generations. Through celebrating the accomplishments of women in the military we provide role models for young girls and women who aspire to serve their country. It helps them envision themselves in similar roles and encourages them to pursue their goals, even in fields where women have historically been underrepresented,” said Green.“Additionally, celebrating the accomplishments of these women not only recognizes their individual achievements but also is an important step towards achieving gender equality and fostering a more inclusive and diverse armed force,” Green continued.Along with a page in the history books, women who serve in the armed forces will walk away with knowledge, skills, newfound experiences, and an everlasting sisterhood.“Serving in the armed forces has been the biggest blessing. I grew up in a small town of less than 1000 people. The Navy has opened the aperture to experience different cultures and backgrounds and have so many new experiences than what I grew up with” said Renken. “I grew up on a farm and had an amazing childhood, but the NAVY has given me so many new opportunities to see the world and being a part of something bigger than myself has been the biggest blessing.”“The Navy has become more than a job for me; it’s grown into a part of my identity, and the people I have met have become an extension of my family. I have formed deep sisterhood with the women I serve alongside; helping shape the very core of who I am today as a woman,” said Sizemore-Morris. “One of the most powerful aspects I cherish is the constant presence of individuals who surpass me in strength, speed, or intelligence. This always encourages me to rise higher and never settle for less.”“Joining the Navy has been a transformative, a unique experience and hands down the best decision I have made. I have been blessed with the opportunity to have served as both an enlisted member and officer, in the aviation and medical communities and onboard surface and submarine units worldwide,” said Green.“However, it’s the emphasis on camaraderie and teamwork that develops within service. The Navy places a strong emphasis on unit cohesion and relies on the collective efforts of its members to accomplish missions and tasks. I have forged lifelong friendships and there is a tight-knit support network I am able and have been able to rely on every place I have been. It’s the people, the lasting relationships and memories created that really make a tour special,” Green continued.“Some people say it’s difficult being a woman in the military due to the expectations placed upon us. I believe it's essential to embrace the chance to surpass these expectations and even to perform at higher levels than our counterparts. Rather than viewing the challenges of being a woman in the military as obstacles, we should seize these opportunities to showcase our strength and resilience,” said Sizemore-Morris.“By striving to excel, we not only honor the women who paved the way before us but also inspire those who will follow. Celebrating the accomplishments of women in the military means acknowledging the remarkable achievements of individuals who dare to do what most will not—both women and men alike.”NAVSUP WSS is one of 11 commands under Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, NAVSUP employs a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel. NAVSUP and the Navy Supply Corps conduct and enable supply chain, acquisition, operational logistics and Sailor and family care activities with our mission partners to generate readiness and sustain naval forces worldwide to prevent and decisively win wars. Learn more at www.navsup.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/navsupwss, and www.twitter.com/NAVSUP.
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