Janet Days Makes History as 1st Black Woman Commanding World’s Largest Naval Base | Video


    *Janet Days made history last month when she became the 51st commanding officer of Naval Station Norfolk. It’s the first time a Black woman has held the position in the installation’s 106-year history.

    As reported by 13 News Now, Days previously served as the base’s executive officer. 

    Per Stripes.com, the Chicago native’s “sea assignments include tours aboard the USS Simon Lake; USS Mahan and USS Forrest Sherman as engineer office,” the outlet writes. 

    Additionally, “Days has been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (seven awards), Army Commendation Medal (two awards), Army Achievement Medal, and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal,” per Stripes.com.

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    MONUMENTAL: Big news from @NAV_STA_NORFOLK this am! In just a little bit Captain Janet Days will assume command of the largest naval base in the WORLD. She’s the first Black female to do so. History… @USNavy @CNRMA

    Keep up here: https://t.co/JeHO1Ur2Um @WTKR3 pic.twitter.com/FKB2PQAMWG

    — Erin Miller (@Emiller_reports) February 3, 2023

    A former ceremony was held at Airborne Command and Control Squadron 124 at Naval Station Norfolk Feb. 3, where Days relieved Capt. David Dees as commanding officer of Naval Station Norfolk (NAVSTA).

    Days addressed the crowd and talked about the history that she made by becoming the first, Black female commanding officer of NAVSTA Norfolk.

    “I wandered down the halls of N-26 headquarters where my office resides – and took note of the majestic pictures and leadership boards displaying the previous commanders of Naval Station Norfolk,” said Days in a speech during the event.  “As my eyes moved from name plate to name plate, it was painfully obvious that in 31 years from the day I entered the Navy, still not one person of color was displayed – and finally today that changes!” “I am here to say to all of those who do not believe that hard work pays off – keep grinding – stay focused and from the words of General Colin Powell – “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work!”

    Days continued, “To the incredibly talented officers, civilians, Chief Petty Officers and extremely capable Sailors – team Naval Station Norfolk – I see one of my primary tasks to simply maintain the significant momentum you have built under Capt. Dees’ leadership,” she said.  “I fully expect you will see a Navy base and team aligned to support the operational fleet.”

    Per Face2Face Africa: “Naval Station Norfolk where Days serves covers more than 6,200 acres. It has 326 tenant commands with over 600 facilities. Over 67,000 personnel, including military and civilian personnel, work there. With 13 piers and an 8,000-foot airfield, Naval Station Norfolk also supports 63 ships, 188 aircraft and 18 squadrons.”

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