Four women of colour are rewriting history as Commanders of U.S. Warships

by Yvonne
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Four women of colour are rewriting history as Commanders of U.S. Warships

The dictate in male-dominated professions is changing by the minute in professions such as aviation, engineering, military and the likes with more women being empowered.

According to NBC News’s Lester Holt, for the first time ever, four women of color are making Naval history by commanding warships at the same time.

Kimberly Jones, commander of the USS Tortuga, LaDonna Simpson, captain of the USS Carter Hall, Kathryn Wijnaldum, commanding officer of the USS Oak Hill, and Kristel O’Cañas commanding officer of the USS Whidbey Island are proudly rewriting history and paving way for others future military leaders.

“[The Navy] looks different in the fact that as an ensign, I looked around and at that time, there were not many senior female officers that I could necessarily go to for gender-specific questions,” Commander Jones, who joined the Navy in 1999, says in a clip shared exclusively with PEOPLE.

“I may not have felt comfortable asking my male boss,” she continues. “Now, to their credit, they were phenomenal leaders. However, when it came time [for] some of those more intimate conversations on how to plan your career with a family, as a mom, that did not exist.”

“And I was overseas, so the population was slightly smaller,” she adds. “And now walking this waterfront, there are leaders, there are role models, at every rank, in every rate. That is something that I hope ensigns, young sailors, gravitate towards and take advantage of.”

In a chat with Holt about their remarkable feat and journey so far, Jones said that she is honored and privileged to serve with the other women. Hall speaking noted things all the women have in common.

All of the servicewomen who are answering the call to serve in the Navy are mothers, too. “We have managed to make our family work with the career that we have in the Navy, and we’ve all been successful at doing that,” Hall said when Holt interviewed her virtually.

“If it were not for, one, being married, for over 18 years, I would not know how to operate in a male-dominated profession. As a mother, it definitely taught me patience and time management,” Wijnaldum told Holt.

In the interview, Holt said that the women hope to inspire others coming up the ranks.

The commanders are nuclear qualified. Holt explained that the trailblazers possess STEM backgrounds– Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, the site reports.

All women are based at the Norfolk Naval Station, in Norfolk, Virginia

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