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March 29, 2013 / iDriveWarships

SURFPAC Celebrates Women’s History Month

Meriza Deguzman-Ciccone speaks to SURFPAC staff and guests during a Women's History Month celebration

The Department of Defense observes Women’s History Month every March to recognize and pay tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society. This year’s theme, “Women inspiring innovation through imagination: Celebrating women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM),” focused specifically on the female pioneers in related fields.

At Commander Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC), mentorship and inspiration were central to discussing the accomplishments of trailblazers such as the late Rear Admiral Grace Hopper during the command’s Women’s History Month celebration. Continuing to honor Hopper’s legacy today, USS Hopper (DDG 70) was commissioned in 1997 as the second Navy warship to be named for a woman.

Keynote speaker Meriza Deguzman-Ciccone, a former Navy enlisted hospital corpsman, spoke about how her naval career laid the foundation for her success as an entrepreneur in the personal training industry. As a respected bodybuilding competitor, Deguzman-Ciccone credits the Navy with instilling the core values of honor, courage and commitment—as well as physical training, dedication and hard work—in her at an early age.

Today, nearly every community in the Navy is open to female Sailors. There are more than 54,000 active duty women and more than 10,000 female reservists currently serving in the Navy—amounting to greater than 17 percent of the force.

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