USD Grad One Of First Women To Serve On Submarine

Kim Roe, A Senior At The University Of San Diego, Was Among 24 Women Chosen By The Navy

A woman about to graduate from the University of San Diego will be one of the first women to serve on a U.S. Navy submarine.

Since high school, Kim Roe knew she was going to join the Navy ROTC program but as she is about to graduate from USD, opportunity has come knocking.

By 2012, women will be able to serve on submarines. Roe, who majored in math at USD, was picked by the Navy to be among the first group of women for submarines.

“It would have been my first choice if women were allowed anyway so I thought this is a great chance to do it,” she said. .

Roe will join an elite group of women who were prohibited from serving abroad a ship or submarine not too long ago.

In 1993, aboard the guided missile cruiser USS Fox, Lt. j.g. Holly Russell and Lt. Lisa Scheinfurth were among the first women to ever serve on a combat ship.

“There are a lot of people looking to say hey, how’s it going to go,” said Russell in a 1993 interview.

Currently, women serve on all types of combat ships on a variety of jobs, totaling 15 percent of Navy personnel. On the USS Fox in 1993, it was a first.

“We don’t think of it that way,” said Scheinfurth. “We did our job part of a team, part of team Fox.”

Roe said she sees it the same way.

“I’m hoping I show up, I do my job and they’re more concerned with whether I can do the job,” she said.

Roe will spend at least a year learning the ropes, such as what to do if the sub springs a leak.

Her ROTC commanding officer, Capt. Bill Ault, believes the Navy could not have made a better choice.

“Certainly the submarine force has a long legacy of extremely high standards and she’s going to fit right in,” he said.

Roe wants to work on the sub’s reactor. Twenty four women, all officers will start training and eventually be assigned to submarines at Kings Bay on the East Coast and Bangor, Wash. on the West Coast.