Story by Lt. Nathan Christensen
Posted: 07.01.2009 08:58
MANAMA, Bahrain – Rear Adm. Carol Pottenger, commander, Naval Expeditionary Combat Command, and Rear Adm. Michelle Howard, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group Two, forward-deployed to Bahrain, met with a group of women surface warfare officers June 30 to encourage them to continue to progress in their careers and lives. While striving to make every officer and Sailor better, Pottenger and Howard both said they understand young women need senior female mentors and leaders to guide them in their career paths. “In the Navy, a leader is a leader,” said Pottenger. “The key is mentorship, caring for Sailors, motivating them to succeed and understanding that you can truly be anyone you want to be. I’ve had some great role models in my life and career, both men and women, each allowing me to shine by giving me room to excel. I’m always looking forward, not back, and it’s my hope that I have been able to help those that will follow me.” Both women have led from the front since the beginning of their careers. Pottenger volunteered for sea-duty in 1978, one year after she earned her commission. Howard is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982 and reported aboard USS Hunley for her initial sea-duty assignment. Both women have commanded ships as well as amphibious expeditionary strike groups. Though both admirals have taken on jobs where they were the first women to hold those positions, neither view their accomplishments as gender-specific.