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News | March 28, 2022

U.S. 4th Fleet Celebrates Women’s History Month

By U.S. NAVSO/U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet celebrated Women’s History Month with a ceremony at command headquarters, March 25, 2022.

Chief Warrant Officer Deshonia Barnes, who reported to the command in February 2022, served as the guest speaker, sharing her own experiences serving as a woman in the Navy.

“Women have broken so many barriers, not without sacrifice, to achieve amazing things in the military,” said Barnes.

During March, the Navy honors and pays tribute to those women who have served in the Navy and the nation. Women who serve in the Navy each have their own stories of perseverance, tenacity, service and pride in their work. Navy women today are represented in almost all aspects of the service like never before, and they continue to rewrite history every day.

Coming from a small town in Alabama, Barnes joined the Navy to find direction in her life and to broaden her horizons. She entered the Navy as an undesignated seaman before completing A-school in 1997 to become an intelligence specialist. In 2014, Barnes received her commission as an Intelligence Warrant Officer. Since then, she has continued to make an impact and inspire others. In her 27 years of naval service, she has served on ships and at shore commands all over the world. She is currently at U.S. 4th Fleet serving as a Maritime Intelligence Operations Center (MIOC) Watch Officer and Sea Vision community manager/analyst.

Barnes hopes to serve as an example for other women who want to join the military.

“I hope to inspire women to understand that there really are no limits to what they can achieve in the military if they put their mind to it,” said Barnes.

To her, serving means being committed to protecting the very freedoms that one gets to enjoy daily.  Her experiences in the Navy, both at home and while deployed overseas solidify the choice she made when she decided to join.

“It is one of the best opportunities I have had, to leave an impact on our nation and help better it for the future to come,” said Barnes.

Barnes emphasized that women’s history month not only celebrates the exceptional contributions military women have made in the past but also in the present. Key figures such as Adm. Grace Hopper who was a pioneer in computer programming, or Vice Adm. Michelle Howard who was the first woman to become a four-star admiral in the U.S. Navy stand alongside Navy women of today such as Lt. Madeline Swegle, the Navy’s first black female tactical jet pilot, or Warrant Officer Tatiana Julien, Louisiana Army National Guard’s first black female pilot.

Barnes is confident that today’s military women have new and groundbreaking ideas and contributions that will continue to make the force stronger for many years to come.

 “With hard work and determination, you can achieve anything you wholeheartedly pursue,” said Barnes. “We all should never stop learning about the contributions that have been made by women so that we can continue to empower and uplift those that need us.”
 
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