I can still hear the CO's words clearly from the day I reported to my first ship in August 1980. It was one of the first things he said to me as I sat in my blues, perched with perfect posture on the chair in his inport cabin during my in call.
"I don't think the Women at Sea program will be around very long."
I remember blinking and being unsure of what to say. Hmmm, this did not sound good; maybe he knew something I didn't. I had been commissioned in May 1978, and women hadn't been assigned to ships then, so I had gone to shore duty on Guam. In October 1978, a few women were assigned to a limited number of ships under the Women at Sea program. I was thrilled when I was accepted into the program and received my orders to a sub tender, one of the few classes of ship then available for the embarkation of women. Now, I wondered, was it all going to abruptly end?