Steel Decks and Glass Ceilings
“The captain and xo showed how we should practice inclusion and innovation.”
— Margaret Klein, Rear Admiral, USN (retired), Dean of Leadership and Ethics College, Naval War College
I’d like to congratulate my good friend Jim Jewell on the publication of his new book, Steel Decks and Glass Ceilings, about his experience as the Executive Officer of the USS Yosemite at a time when women were first serving long deployments on US Navy ships. Jim is a poet at heart and he saved his notes and letters from his time at sea, so this is a remarkably well detailed account of life aboard a ship, a love letter to the sea and to the job, and an interesting account of lessons learned in leadership and equality. Great job, Jim!
“I have just completed a most marvelous journey and I wish to thank you for taking me with you! What a well-crafted narrative. I now truly believe you when you say, “I’d rather be driving ships”. This book was much more than a chronological narrative. Who knew that an “old salt” SWO could gain satisfaction and much more from a tour on a tender. You deserve a “Literature ‘E’. BZ.”
— Marty Linville, Maj., USA (retired), Awarded Silver Star for his service in Vietnam.
“I have now immortalized CAPT Boyle’s admonishment regarding the inclusion of female personnel on board the USS Yosemite: “We don’t have men on board this ship; we don’t have women on board this ship. We have sailors aboard this ship. And we are going to act like that.” Oh how I wish there was a Chief in the US Border Patrol that would have enunciated that same sentiment about Border Patrol Agents back in 1975 when I entered on duty and began knocking on that impervious glass ceiling…All in all, my friend, a great read, wonderful insights into a sliver of naval history, all sprinkled with valuable management lessons.”
— Chris Davis, Retired Immigration
“My tour in Yosemite was my most rewarding and far away my favorite. BZ! You did a great job as XO and as the author of this most interesting book.”
— Francis J. Boyle, Captain, USN (retired)
“As a retired Navy Officer, I really enjoyed this retrospective look at life at sea on a Navy Ship from nearly 40 years ago. But it was also the life of an XO – one of the most demanding jobs in the Navy, and in this case, in a particularly challenging environment…
The book is full of stories and anecdotes from this deployment, and to provide context, Jim often goes back and shares stories from earlier deployments in his career on different ships. But this was new – a different, larger ship, and now with the new challenge of having women on board. He shares stories of what the XO had to deal with to prepare the crew of men and women for “liberty”…
It is also a book about leadership. Jim describes how he had to balance his commitments to his ship’s mission, to the ship’s crew, to his Commanding Officer (CO,) and to his own personal values and well-being.
But for me, most interesting and enjoyable, were Jim’s very candid and personal perspectives on dealing with these daily XO challenges, anticipating and preventing problems and crises, and at the same time, taking care of his personal needs and dealing with his loneliness and separation from Maureen, his new bride…
…this is a fascinating look at the Navy of forty years ago, and how this particular deployment was a key first step in the successful integrating of Navy ships’ crews with women. …I thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to share this key phase of Jim’s life and career, his leadership lessons, and the key role he played in this important period in the evolution of our Navy.
I’d strongly recommend Steel Decks and Glass Ceilings as reading for Surface Warfare Officers getting ready for deployment, or for any XO of a deploying unit in any branch or service, or anyone interested in understanding what it’s like being deployed on a Navy ship for seven months. I believe it also is an important addition to the literature on integrating the genders on military deployments.”
— Bob Shoultz, Captain, USN (ret), Navy SEAL
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