Future Female Officer Club Spotlight

The Future Female Officer Club is a club composed of midshipmen from both the BU and MIT Companies. The club’s purpose is to congregate midshipmen in the battalion to discuss potential issues females will face in the fleet.  Additionally, since there are no current female Unit Staff members at the BU or MIT Units, it provides females the opportunity to interact with past and present female Naval and Marine Corps officers.

A group of female officers from Department Head School in Newport, RI, visit Boston for an FFO Club meeting
A group of female officers from Department Head School in Newport, RI, visit Boston for an FFO Club meeting

This semester has been very successful for the club.  We kicked off our first meeting in October with two experienced and wise officers: CAPT Frizzell and CAPT Majors.  The meeting began with a discussion of summer cruise experiences. Thereafter, midshipmen asked the officers questions about how to deal with the typical challenges the females face in the military.  The meeting was enjoyable and informative.

The second meeting of the semester was a treat for all who attended.  Four female Department Heads, who are attending the department head school in Newport, RI; and a commander, who is an instructor at the school; drove up to Boston University to speak with the women of the Boston Battalion. The officers were willing to answer any and all questions.  The first topic discussed was balancing and planning for marriage and children while having a naval career. The women revealed to the midshipmen that “having it all” is possible, but it takes a lot of thought, planning, and preparation.  It also takes a support network: it is important to have friends, family, and neighbors who are willing to help look after your children. The next topic of discussion dealt with managing emotions.  Following this, the group talked about being a woman in a man’s environment.  The officers emphasized that it is important to act yourself and not to change in effort to fit in.  They discussed how it can be tough to form a professional connection with your enlisted.  The conversation moved to the importance of refraining from judging other females for how they want to be perceived.  Lastly, the dangers of Facebook and social media wrapped up a very enlightening meeting. The guest speakers had a wealth of knowledge to provide female midshipmen, and the midshipmen were grateful they gave us their time.

For the final meeting of the semester, the clubs plans to take a trip to Newport and have lunch with the guest speaker from the previous meeting.  Overall, this semester, the female midshipmen have learned a great deal about being a female officer in the fleet and met some great contacts for future mentorship.

Written by: MIDN 3/c Abigail Guerra

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