The Coast Guard cutter's crew didn't care that their CO was a woman. What mattered to them was the captain's competency and job knowledge.
You can't sail there." These four words changed my life. It was late October 2002, and I had been in command of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Aquidneck (WPB-1309), a 110-foot patrol boat out of Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, for well over a year. In that time, my crew and I had spent many long hours conducting homeland security operations along the East Coast. Now, we were moored at Group Philadelphia for a short break before escorting a ship to sea. Because this was the first cruise ship to board passengers in Philadelphia, a lot of press coverage was expected, which also raised my concerns that it could be a terrorist target.