Happy Mother’s Day

Mary Marovich Ryan, the mother of Homefront Heroines: The WAVES of World War II director Kathleen Ryan, at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco with a group of friends. She’s the 2nd from the right.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there – you’re all homefront heroines!

First Carrier Strike Group Commander

Various women’s firsts would continue over the years. First Hispanic Brigadier General. First African American pilot. First helicopter pilot. First combatant ship commander. In 2010, the Navy appointed Rear Admiral Nora Tyson to be the first female to command a carrier strike group.

This photograph comes from the Naval History and Heritage Command.

On to Combat Ships

Women were allowed to serve aboard ships in 1978, but it wouldn’t be until 1993 that women were allowed on combatant ships.

This photograph shows Cmdr. Kris Doyle, commanding officer of the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1), explains the readiness control officer console on Freedom’s bridge to Rear Adm. Earl L. Gay. It comes from the U.S. Navy.

Women on Ships

The milestones continued in the 1970s. The Navy’s women in ships program began in 1978. It allowed women to serve on a wide variety of auxiliary ships (but not combat ships).

This photograph shows Seaman Recruit Joy Turner in the doorway of a repair ship. In 1978, USS Vulcan became the first U.S. Navy ship other than a hospital ship to have women permanently stationed on board.

The photograph comes from the Naval History and Heritage Command.

Service Academies

In 1976, President Gerald Ford signed Public Law 94-106 requiring the service academies to admit women by 1976. Women began their training that fall for the class of 1980

Eighty-one women were in that first class and 55 graduated. Elizabeth Belzer was the first woman graduate and Janie L. Mines, the first black female graduate.

This photograph of the class of 1980 comes from USO On Patrol.