KINGS BAY, Ga. – The 15 enlisted women serving aboard the ballistic-missile submarine USS Wyoming recently reached a milestone accomplishment for all women who serve. They became the first enlisted female crew to complete a ballistic-missile submarine “boomer” deterrent patrol.
Ballistic-missile submarine “boomer” deterrent patrols involve deterring attacks from potential adversaries and last 77 days at sea on average.
It’s been more than 12 years since women were authorized to serve aboard submarines. While women comprise nearly one-fourth of the Department of Defense’s total force, only a small fraction of women serve on submarines, according to Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ashley Berumen, Commander, Submarine Group 10 Public Affairs.
Enlisted women make up about eight percent of the total crew onboard USS Wyoming.
“I personally never saw myself being in the submarine force,” said Chief Logistics Specialist Samantha Mincey, who began her naval career in the surface fleet serving aboard an aircraft carrier. “When I joined, women weren’t allowed on submarines. I never thought women would start being accepted on submarines while I was in the Navy.”
Mincey says women should not let the fact the submarine force is male-dominated deter them from joining.
“Don’t get discouraged and stay true to yourself,” said Mincey. “We are still the minority and have so much to offer with just who we are. The work isn’t easy but, at the end of the day, who else can say they have done the things you have?”
Enlisted women serve aboard four guided-missile submarines and one ballistic-missile submarine. There are 70 active submarines in the fleet.
“As I learn more about women’s history, it brings me so much honor to be a part of this group,” said Torpedoman’s Mate 3rd Class Kania John. “This is probably one of the greatest things I can be a part of. My children and future grandchildren will be so proud.”