JULY 9, 2015, SINGAPORE (NNS) – Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Jin Choe, assigned to U.S. Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Far East (NCTS FE) Detachment Singapore, was selected, June 22, to join the first group of 38 enlisted women from across the fleet to serve in the U.S. Navy’s submarine force.
“To be part of the first group of enlisted female submariners is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Choe. “Finding out I was selected was a huge milestone in my career.”
Sailors from nearly every community throughout the Navy applied for the Women in Submarines program, and the selections represented the diverse group of applicants. The skills and experience of enlisted women like Choe will set the foundation for success for women entering the submarine force.
Chief Information Systems Technician Randall Towns, assistant officer-in-charge of NCTS FE, noted that upon Choe’s arrival to Singapore, she was a well-rounded Sailor and a great technician.
“I saw that this would be a big milestone for any woman selected, and for IT2 Choe, I knew this would be a great fit for her,” said Towns. “When she first arrived here, I saw her potential as a Sailor and as a technician. When I heard the news that Choe was selected, I wasn’t surprised, as she’s the right Sailor for the submarine community.
The fleet-wide search for enlisted female submarine Sailors received a huge response, as evidenced by the staggering number of applications for this pioneering opportunity. Women representing 31 different ratings from shore and sea commands worldwide answered the call during the initial application period across the two crews of the Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727, homeported in Bangor, Washington.
“The Navy’s decision to integrate women on submarines was a good idea and I’m glad to be one of the first female Sailors to join the program,” said Choe. “I hope all these women embrace the challenge of being part of this major milestone in Navy history.”
These selections are the first step in a long-term plan approved by the Chief of Naval Operations to integrate the submarine force and provide opportunities for women in the Navy to serve on all types of submarines. The second group of enlisted female submarine conversions will be assigned to another Ohio-class guided-missile submarine, USS Florida (SSGN 729), homeported in Kings Bay, Georgia.
“Since I’ve been in the Navy, I’ve learned that you can go as far as you want if you’re determined and dedicated to the work,” added Choe. “Discipline takes you a long way and it’s been fun. I’ve made a lot of good friends and plan on making more in the submarine force.”