Three of the U.S. military's first female submariners have earned their dolphin pins, signifying that they have met all of the requirements to serve on subs, one year after the Navy began allowing women to do so.
Lts. j.g. Marquette Leveque, Amber Cowan and Jennifer Noonan are the first women to be qualified as unrestricted line, or warfare, officers on U.S. submarines. They received their dolphin pins during ceremonies on Wednesday.
"Qualifying is a huge accomplishment for any submariner, and it feels no different for me," Lt. Noonan said in statement released by the Navy. "I am thrilled to finally be a member of this elite community. I'm particularly grateful to my crew, officers and enlisted for supporting me and holding me to the same standards as those who have gone before me."
Other women in the past also have qualified to work on subs, but Lts. Noonan, Leveque and Cowan are the first to have served a tour aboard a submarine and will be permanently assigned to do so.
As unrestricted line officers, they could become the commanding officers of submarines someday.
They were among 24 women whom the Navy first allowed to serve on submarines last year.
Lt. Leveque was assigned to the USS Wyoming, based at the Naval Submarine Base in Kings Bay, Ga. Lts. Cowan and Noonan were assigned to the USS Maine at Naval Base Kitsap in Bangor, Wash.
"I am honored to be joining the long tradition of the submarine force by earning my dolphins and excited for the journey to come," Lt. Leveque said in a statement. "I could not have accomplished this without the help of the wardroom and crew of the USS Wyoming."
In June, a female supply officer, Lt. Britta Christianson, received her dolphin pin as the first female supply officer to serve and qualify on a submarine.
To qualify, the women underwent extensive training at the Submarine Officer Basic Course and the Naval Nuclear Power School.
In addition, they were required to qualify as officer of the deck and engineering officer of the watch, perform damage control functions, and demonstrate leadership abilities.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Kristina Wong is a national security reporter for The Washington Times, covering defense, foreign policy and intelligence affairs. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Life advice – from one friend to another!
Reviews, insights and commentary from an eclectic observer.
Right-brain investing in a left-brain world. You can do it. I can help.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall