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    The First ‘Women of Reagan’ Panel Empowers Generations

    USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Women of Reagan Panel

    Photo By Petty Officer 3rd Class Jillian Grady | 210331-N-JX361-1050 YOKOSUKA, Japan (March 31, 2021) Members of the “Women of...... read more read more

    YOKOSUKA, KANAGAWA, JAPAN

    03.31.2021

    Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jillian Grady 

    USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76)   

    YOKOSUKA, Japan (March 31, 2021) – The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan’s (CVN 76) Diversity and Heritage Committee hosted a “Women of Reagan” panel discussion on the ship’s forward mess decks, March 31. The panel served as a culminating event for Women’s History Month, and provided a platform for senior women leaders assigned to Ronald Reagan to share highlights of their military careers with Sailors.
    As the panel moderator, Lt. Cmdr. Dawn Stankus, Ronald Reagan’s public affairs officer, facilitated the conversation between Cmdr. Monica Frey, Ronald Reagan’s supply officer; Master Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Mattie Hackney; Chief Master-at-Arms Jessica Guzman; and Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 1st Class Keyonnia Cook. Panel members discussed lessons learned throughout their various military tours, overcoming adversity, their inspiring mentors, as well as setting realistic goals and working actively to achieve them.
    “The Navy is getting better, but we [as women] have to work harder to be successful,” said Hackney. “If you set some goals and make sure you attain those goals, your career will be what you want it to be.”
    When the panel members were asked to speak about mentors who have helped them throughout their Navy careers, and what advice they considered most relevant, Cook recalled what one of her mentors once told her, and how that advice continues to help mold her as a leader.
    “She was actually the first woman to achieve the rank of master chief petty officer within the aviation boatswain’s mate community,” said Cook. “I told her one day, ‘I’m sorry if I’m bothering you, but I need guidance.’ She said, ‘Empowered women empower women,’ and what she meant by that was that I wasn’t bugging her, but she was there to help and empower me to do my best. That really stuck with me.”
    The panel also answered questions from the audience regarding the balance between motherhood and a career, being successful in male-dominated rates and environments, and what they think the Navy could do better for women. Panel members left the audience with words of encouragement and advice as well. Guzman mentioned how women should take pride in their roles in the military, while Hackney celebrated the strides made toward equality across the ranks.
    “We do the job that a lot of people can’t,” said Guzman. “You, the female Sailors, should be proud of that.”
    “We have come a long way since 2007, when we were still counting down for the first female ‘this’ or ‘that,’” said Hackney. “I think the Navy is getting better with programs and policies to ensure that we’re no longer counting firsts, but taking an active role in every aspect of naval service.”
    Ronald Reagan, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the United States, as well as the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.31.2021
    Date Posted: 04.01.2021 00:23
    Story ID: 392796
    Location: YOKOSUKA, KANAGAWA, JP 

    Web Views: 190
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN