Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th


Forgot Password?

    Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Logo

    NYU hosts Women in the Military Panel discussion during Fleet Week New York

    Women's Military Panel: An Insider’s View of Women in the Military

    Photo By Cpl. Enos Jimenez | U.S. Marines and Sailors pose for a photo at the Women’s Military Panel: An Insider...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Mallory VanderSchans 

    Communication Directorate             

    NEW YORK – In honor of Fleet Week New York, the New York University’s Women’s Initiative and New York Council Navy League co-hosted the Women in the Military Panel discussion with active duty female leaders from the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps at the NYU’s Alumni Relations Office, Thursday evening, May 25.

    The two-hour discussion and networking event, included women from the sea services of different ranks, rates, and backgrounds and offered insights into their opportunities and unique experiences while serving in the Armed Forces.

    Marine Corps Community Relations Director, Tracey Campbell, served as the lead and moderated the panel discussion with the theme of Diversity and Empowerment. Ms. Campbell, a Marine Corps veteran herself with over 16 years of service, opened the discussions with questions on each of the panelist’s service.

    Navy Captain Heidi Tyler, the Commanding Officer at Navy Reserve Center here in New York City, discussed her experiences as a member of the Naval Aviation community and the benefits of serving alongside other women.

    “What has struck me after 20 years in the aviation community is the women I’ve worked with. They are brilliant. They are strong, incredibly intelligent, they know what they want, and they are going after it. I feel lucky and blessed to work alongside women like that because they inspire me to be better all-around.”

    Additionally, Captain Tyler spoke to how every service member’s path is different and the importance of going after your goals and giving back to the younger generations who aspire the same.

    “It took a lot of confidence to ask for what I wanted. I wanted to be a flight officer and wanted to be in an aircraft. All I needed was the opportunity and I got it. Now I pay it forward. It’s my time now as a leader to give that same opportunity and help others achieve their goals.”

    Marine Corps Colonel Alison Thompson, currently a Marine Fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York City and first female pilot to command a Marine Corps Squadron in combat in Afghanistan, reflected on her career and the changes she’s witnessed in the Marine aviation community.

    “I’ve had the opportunity to have amazing experiences flying helicopters during my time. As far as women in Marine aviation, I feel not a lot has changed in terms of numbers. It’s still too low. In can be challenging to recruit for Marine aviation and that’s why participating with organizations like NYU and the Navy League at events like this are important. It allows the exposure to tell our stories and show that individuals who want to do this, can, and have the opportunity to do so. It’s important for us to get out there and tell those young ladies, you can do this too.”

    Marine Corps Captain Kelsey Hastings, the Platoon Commander for Silent Drill Platoon, described her early career as a Marine Artillery Officer and the importance of being a leader in a once closed military occupational specialty to women.

    “It’s been such a great experience to lead young men and women. It’s about building that respect and showing them how you are as a leader. They’re willing to follow you and are accepting to your leadership because you’ve built that trust.”

    Navy Commander Jessica Hill, C5-I Department Head for the USS WASP, offered her perspective of working in the Navy Service Warfare community as a woman.

    “There are a lot of challenges. Each step pf the way, you have to find ways to make yourself a better person. I work hard and work to earn the trust of the commanding officer of the ship and those around me. You have to be that front runner and be able to get qualifications. You have to push yourself daily. I have a high honor to have the position I have on the ship and that’s something you earn through trust.”

    Navy Senior Chief Melissa Sheek, Master at Arms for the USS WASP, reminisced on her 23 years of service and the challenges and opportunities she’s experienced in her career as a dual military family, being married to another service member for over 18 years.

    “Trust and communication are keen to any successful marriage. I tell every service member; you can be married and be successful. There is no secret recipe, just that respect and communicating your goals in order for each of us to advance in our careers. One of the things I love is spousal co-location opportunities, so we can have the choice to given orders to the same geographical location.”

    Audience members, made up of NYU alumni, current students, prospective students, student parents, New York Council members, and military service members, also had the opportunity to engage and ask the panelists questions.

    One guest asked the panel members for advice on what to tell her daughter when she’s deciding on continuing her career in the military.

    “No decision needs to be made right now. A lot can change in a few months, in 5 years”, offered Capt. Hastings.

    “Often times when I’m asked this question, I ask them if they’re happy about what they’re doing. I ask if this is what they see themselves doing 5 years from now. I ask them the important questions, so they can make their own choice, and then I make sure they’re prepared and understand what’s next”, said Capt. Hill.

    “Are they choosing to leave something, or are they choosing to go after something”, added Captain Tyler. “If she chooses to go after something out of the service, you can still keep a foot in the door with the Reserves, and still have that opportunity to come back.”

    “Invest in yourself”, added Col. Thompson. “Invest in your education, so when the time came to make a choice, I had options because I put myself in a better place to decide.”

    “It’s a passion for me. If I would’ve gotten out on my first tour, I would’ve been missing out. My only regret is not having joined sooner,” said Senior Chief Sheek.

    Ms. Campbell closed the discussion answering an audience question on what drives a Sailor or Marine’s commitment in staying in service.

    “Mission. Purpose. Drive. It’s all the things the military teaches and instills in each one of us and you know you’re contributing to the mission. It’s valuable and you know you’re making a difference.”

    The Women in Military Service Panel has been a repeated event for Fleet Week New York and continues to expose attendees to the experiences of women military leaders and the opportunities they’ve had in careers in the Armed Forces.

    FWNY, now in its 35th year, is the city’s time-honored celebration of the sea services. It is an unparalleled opportunity for the citizens of New York and the surrounding tri-state area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today’s maritime services. The weeklong celebration has been held nearly every year since 1984.

    For up-to-date information on all FWNY events, visit the office FWNY website at Join the conversation on social media by using #FleetWeekNYC.



    Date Taken: 05.25.2023
    Date Posted: 05.26.2023 06:15
    Story ID: 445641
    Location: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, US

    Web Views: 330
    Downloads: 0