“Why am I doing this?”

I asked myself that question many times at the Naval Academy and especially in the early years. Getting a college degree at any other university would have been much easier. I had to constantly remind myself that I was engaging in something far bigger than myself and far more important than obtaining a college degree. We were opening doors and building a runway for ourselves and for the women who would follow us.

Some considered our presence an experiment, one that could be proven wrong. But we were not leaving. The law opened the door, and we were determined to keep it open. What we came to realize was that our actions (over many years), not our words, would show that we belonged at the Naval Academy and in the Naval Service. Standing on the shoulders of the women who rebelled in the sixties, we were there to get an education accessible nowhere else and open a new pathway for women to become new types of Navy and Marine Corps officers. Our ongoing presence day after day and year after year, changed attitudes toward women and, ultimately, validated the law.

Women’s history month is a time to celebrate the progress women have made – not only in the military but also in the private and public sectors. I’m seeing the celebrations everywhere from social media to in person events. Who do you have to celebrate?

In aviation we use the term CAVU – Ceiling And Visibility Unrestricted. That’s how I’m feeling. Ceilings have been broken and our visibility is unrestricted!

Fly High,


Want to know more? Need help navigating your current challenges? Drop me a line at captainbarbarabell.com and of course check out my book, Flight Lessons: Navigating Through Life’s Turbulence and Learning to Fly High.

#womenshistory, #womenveterans, #veterans, #coaching, #mentoring, #leadership