Steel Decks and Glass Ceilings

steel decks and glass ceilings

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In 1983 to continue the pursuit of command at sea, Jim Jewell, a Navy commander reluctantly accepted his assignment to be executive officer of the USS Yosemite, a destroyer tender. His previous assignments had been on combatants and his experience with tenders happened when the tenders were tied to a pier in their homeports. Instead, the USS Yosemite would leave for almost seven months at sea on a deployment to the Indian Ocean. Ten days prior to his reporting aboard he was married. His wife was in San Diego, across the country from Yosemite’s home port of Mayport (Jacksonville), Florida. However, this deployment was different from his previous time at sea as women were in the initial stages of being integrated into ship complements. Jim had only one tour on shore duty five years earlier where he served with a female officer. Yosemite was the first Navy ship with women in the ship’s complement to spend extended periods at sea. Yosemite would provide maintenance and repair services to the carrier battle group off the coast of Masirah, Oman. Her deployment is a significant success story and provides an example of how to adjust to change successfully. Jim Jewell’s memoir brings to the reader his understanding of the sea, the wind, and the Navy. The story explores what it was like at sea, his role as an officer in carrying out his duty to the Navy, the crew, and the ship with the integration of women on board.

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