NPR logo Naval History: All 4 Winners Of Top Award Are Women


Naval History: All 4 Winners Of Top Award Are Women

From left, Chief Hospital Corpsman Ingrid J. Cortez, Chief Operations Specialist Samira McBride, Chief Hospital Corpsman Shalanda L. Brewer and Chief Cryptologic Technician Cassandra L. Foote at the Sailor of the Year ceremony in Washington, D.C. Tiffini Jones Vanderwyst/U.S. Navy hide caption

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Tiffini Jones Vanderwyst/U.S. Navy

History was made this week in a little noticed ceremony in Washington when the U.S. Navy awarded its "Sailor of the Year" award to four women.

The Navy gave the awards, among the most prestigious for enlisted personnel, to two hospital corpsmen, Ingrid Cortez and Shalanda Brewer, Navy reservist Samira McBride and cryptologic technician Cassandra Foote. Each was promoted to chief petty officer.

At a ceremony held at the Navy Memorial, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick West, the service's highest ranking enlisted man said, according to a Navy news release:

"This is a great day for our Navy, and today we are making history with all four Sailors of the Year being women. These sailors have proven themselves as professional sailors, experts in their rates, role models to our junior sailors and youth, and most importantly, true leaders," said West.

The Washington Post quoted one of the recipients:

"It's almost like the sky's the limit," said Chief Hospital Corpsman Ingrid J. Cortez, 32, who just returned to Virginia Beach from a two-year deployment on the amphibious assault ship Bataan. "We no longer have obstacles for women."